A mechanism-based model for pharmacodynamic effects of dexamethasone (DEX) was incorporated into our model for arthritis disease progression in the rat to aid in identification of the primary factors responsible for edema and bone loss. Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) was produced in male Lewis rats following injection of type II porcine collagen. DEX was given subcutaneously in single doses of 0.225 or 2.25 mg/kg or 7-day multiple doses of 0.045 or 0.225 mg/kg at 21 days post disease induction. Effects on disease progression were measured by paw swelling, bone mineral density (BMD), body weights, plasma corticosterone (CST), and TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and GR mRNA expression in paw tissue. Lumbar and femur BMD was determined by PIXImus-II dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Plasma CST was assayed by HPLC. Cytokine and GR mRNA were assayed by quantitative real-time PCR. Indirect response models, drug-interaction models, transduction processes, and the 5th-generation model of corticosteroid dynamics were integrated and applied using S-ADAPT software to describe how dexamethasone binding to GR can regulate diverse processes. Cytokine mRNA, GR mRNA, plasma CST, and paw edema were suppressed following DEX administration. TNF-α mRNA expression and BMD appeared to increase immediately after dosing but were ultimately reduced. Model parameters indicated that IL-6 and IL-1β were most sensitive to inhibition by DEX. TNF-α appeared to primarily influence edema while IL-6 contributed the most to bone loss. Lower doses of corticosteroids may be sufficient to suppress the cytokines most relevant to bone erosion.
Generalized osteoporosis in postmenopausal rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is caused both by estrogen deficiency and by the inflammatory disease. The relative importance of each of these factors is unknown. The aim of this study was to establish a murine model of osteoporosis in postmenopausal RA, and to evaluate the relative importance and mechanisms of menopause and arthritis-related osteoporosis. To mimic postmenopausal RA, DBA/1 mice were ovariectomized, followed by the induction of type II collagen-induced arthritis. After the mice had been killed, paws were collected for histology, one femur for bone mineral density (BMD) and sera for analyses of markers of bone resorption (RatLaps; type I collagen cross-links, bone formation (osteocalcin) and cartilage destruction (cartilage oligomeric matrix protein), and for the evaluation of antigen-specific and innate immune responsiveness. Ovariectomized mice displayed more severe arthritis than sham-operated controls. At termination of the experiment, arthritic control mice and non-arthritic ovariectomized mice displayed trabecular bone losses of 26% and 22%, respectively. Ovariectomized mice with arthritis had as much as 58% decrease in trabecular BMD. Interestingly, cortical BMD was decreased by arthritis but was not affected by hormonal status. In addition, markers of bone resorption and cartilage destruction were increased in arthritic mice, whereas markers of bone formation were increased in ovariectomized mice. This study demonstrates that the loss of endogenous estrogen and inflammation contribute additively and equally to osteoporosis in experimental postmenopausal polyarthritis. Markers of bone remodeling and bone marrow lymphocyte phenotypes indicate different mechanisms for the development of osteoporosis caused by ovariectomy and arthritis in this model.
This comparison employs mathematical disease progression models to identify a rat model of arthritis with the least inter-animal variability and features lending to better study designs.
Arthritis was induced with either collagen (CIA) or mycobacterium (AIA) in either Lewis or Dark Agouti (DA) rats. Disease progression was monitored by paw edema and body weight. Models with production, loss, and feedback components were constructed and population analysis using NONMEM software was employed to identify inter-animal variability in the various disease progression parameters.
Onset time was the only parameter different within all four groups (DA–AIA 11.5 days, DA–CIA 16.5 days, Lewis–AIA 11.9 days, Lewis–CIA 13.9 days). The loss-of-edema rate constant was 20% slower in DA (0.362 h−1) than Lewis (0.466 h−1) rats. Most models exhibited peak paw edema 20 days post-induction. Edema in CIA returned to 150% of the initial value after the disease peaked. DA rats displayed more severe overall responses.
No statistical differences between groups were observed for inter-animal variation in disease onset, progression and severity parameters. Onset time varies and should be noted in the design of future studies. DA rats may offer a more dynamic range of edema response than Lewis rats.
arthritis; disease; model; progression; rat
To develop a pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic disease progression (PK/PD/DIS) model to characterize the effect of etanercept in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) progression.
The CIA rats received either 5 mg/kg intravenous (IV), 1 mg/kg IV, or 5 mg/kg subcutaneous (SC) etanercept at day 21 post-disease induction. Effect on disease progression was measured by paw swelling. Plasma concentrations of etanercept were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). PK profiles were fitted first; parameter estimates were applied to fit paw edema data for PD and DIS-related parameter estimation using ADAPT 5 software.
The model contained a two-compartment PK model with Michaelis-Menten elimination. For SC administration, two additional mathematical functions for absorption were added. The disease progression component was an indirect response model with a time-dependent change in paw edema production rate constant (kin) assumed to be inhibited by etanercept.
Etanercept has modest effects on paw swelling in CIA rats. The PK and PD profiles were well described by the developed PK/PD/DIS model, which may be used for other anti-cytokine biologic agents for RA.
arthritis; etanercept; model; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics
Dexamethasone (DEX) is often given for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and clinical dosing regimens of DEX have often been based empirically. This study tests whether the inflammation processes in a rat model of rheumatoid arthritis alters the clearance and volume of distribution of DEX when compared with healthy controls. Groups of healthy and arthritic male Lewis rats received either a low (0.225 mg/kg) or high (2.25 mg/kg) intramuscular dose of DEX. Arthritis was induced by intradermal injection of type II porcine collagen in incomplete Freund's adjuvant emulsion at the base of the tail. DEX was dosed in the arthritic animals 22 days post arthritis induction. Plasma DEX concentrations were determined by HPLC. Plasma concentration versus time data were analysed by non-compartmental analysis and pharmacokinetic model fitting using the population pharmacokinetic software NONMEM V. A linear bi-exponential pharmacokinetic model with extravascular input described the data for both healthy and arthritic animals. Clearance was the only parameter determined statistically different between both groups (healthy=1.05 l/h/kg, arthritic=1.19 l/h/kg). The steady-state volume of distribution for both groups was 4.85 l/kg. The slight difference in clearance was visibly undetectable and unlikely to produce meaningful changes in DEX disposition in arthritic rats.
dexamethasone; pharmacokinetics; arthritis; collagen
The goal of the present study was to record changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and markers of bone turnover in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were treated with methotrexate combined (or not combined) with infliximab. Included were 90 patients with RA who required anti-TNF-α therapy with infliximab because of persistent active disease despite treatment with methotrexate. The historical control group included 99 patients with RA who were treated with methotrexate at a time when anti-TNF-α treatment was not yet available. Lumbar and femoral neck BMD was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline and 1 year later. Osteocalcin, C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen, parathyroid hormone and 25-hydroxycholecalciferol were measured in plasma at baseline and 1 year later. At 1 year BMD had decreased in the control group at spine (P < 0.01) and femoral neck (P < 0.001). In contrast, BMD at spine and femoral neck did not change after 1 year of infliximab treatment. At the same time point, no change in bone remodelling markers was observed. No association was observed between clinical response and changes in BMD, indicating that even those who did not respond clinically did not lose bone over a 1-year period. These data confirm the BMD decrease observed in RA patients treated with methotrexate alone. This bone loss was prevented by infliximab therapy. Importantly, this beneficial effect was also observed in apparent nonresponders.
To investigate the therapeutic potential and mechanism of action of the mimotope of PGE2 receptor EP4 (PBP, named by our team) screened by phage displaying technique in the treatment of adjuvant-induced arthritis (AA).
Freund's complete adjuvant-induced arthritis was induced in Wistar rats. At the first clinical sign of disease, mice were given with daily injections of PBP or saline for 21 days. Disease progression was monitored by measurement of paw swelling. Inflammation and joint destruction were assessed histologically. The IL-1β and TNF-α were studied by ELISA in the ankle steeps of arthritis model. The degree of proliferation and apoptosis of synoviocytes of RA patients were assessed by CCK-8 kit and AnnexinⅤ-FITC/PI respectively.
PBP-treated animals displayed significantly less cartilage and bone destruction than model controls. Tumor necrosis factor α and IL-1β expression were reduced after PBP treatment. The proliferation and apoptosis of synoviocytes of RA patients were influenced by PBP.
The data support the view that PBP is a potential therapy for RA that may help to diminish both joint inflammation and destruction. And the activities of PBP are related with the effect on synoviocytes directly.
Prostaglandins formed by the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes are important mediators of inflammation in arthritis. The contribution of the inducible COX-2 enzyme to inflammation in rat adjuvant arthritis was evaluated by characterization of COX-2 expression in normal and arthritic paws and by pharmacological inhibition of COX-2 activity. The injection of adjuvant induced a marked edema of the hind footpads with coincident local production of PGE2. PG production was associated with upregulation of COX-2 mRNA and protein in the affected paws. In contrast, the level of COX-1 mRNA was unaffected by adjuvant injection. TNF-alpha and IL-6 mRNAs were also increased in the inflamed paws as was IL-6 protein in the serum. Therapeutic administration of a selective COX-2 inhibitor, SC-58125, rapidly reversed paw edema and reduced the level of PGE2 in paw tissue to baseline. Interestingly, treatment with the COX-2 inhibitor also reduced the expression of COX-2 mRNA and protein in the paw. Serum IL-6 and paw IL-6 mRNA levels were also reduced to near normal levels by SC-58125. Furthermore, inhibition of COX-2 resulted in a reduction of the inflammatory cell infiltrate and decreased inflammation of the synovium. Notably, the antiinflammatory effects of SC-58125 were indistinguishable from the effects observed for indomethacin. These results suggest that COX-2 plays a prominent role in the inflammation associated with adjuvant arthritis and that COX-2 derived PGs upregulate COX-2 and IL-6 expression at inflammatory sites.
In the present study, we evaluated the effects of individual administration of methionine or glucosamine (GlcN) and compared with the combined administration of methionine and GlcN on the adjuvant arthritis model of rheumatoid arthritis in rats. Adjuvant arthritis was induced in female Lewis rats by injecting Freund’s complete adjuvant (FCA) into the right hind paws, and methionine (200 mg/kg body weight/day) and/or GlcN (400 mg/kg/day) were orally administered for 21 days. The progression of the adjuvant arthritis was clinically evaluated for characteristic signs and symptoms by employing an arthritis score. The administration of methionine combined with GlcN suppressed the swelling of FCA-uninjected left hind paws and the arthritis score. Additionally, histopathological examination revealed that the combined administration of methionine and GlcN markedly suppressed synovial hyperplasia and the destruction of the cartilage surface and articular meniscus of the knee joints of FCA-injected right hind paws. Furthermore, combined methionine and GlcN administration suppressed the increase in the levels of nitric oxide, prostaglandin E2 and hyaluronic acid in the plasma of rats with adjuvant arthritis. By contrast, individual administration of methionine or GlcN suppressed arthritis only slightly. These observations suggest that the combined administration of methionine and GlcN is more effective compared with individual administrations of methionine or GlcN in suppressing the progression of adjuvant arthritis (identified as swelling of joints and arthritis score), possibly by synergistically inhibiting synovial inflammation (identified as synovial hyperplasia and the destruction of the cartilage surface and articular meniscus) and the production of inflammatory mediators.
glucosamine; sulfur amino acid; methionine; adjuvant arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is potentially devastating condition which lacks good treatment options. Pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and oxidative stress markers such as nitric oxide (NO) and peroxide (PO) are mediators of RA pathogenesis. In the present study N-[2,4,5-trihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl) tetrahydro-2H-pyran-3-yl]acrylamide (NHAG), analogue of glucosamine, was evaluated in adjuvant-induced arthritic model of rats. The disease progression was monitored by analysing arthritis scoring, loss of body weight, paw oedema, and histological changes in joints. RA associated hyperalgesia was evaluated by gait analysis. The serum or plasma levels of NO, PO, glutathione (GSH) superoxide dismutase (SOD) IL-1β and TNF-α were analyzed to monitor the state of disease severity. The arthritic control animals exhibited significant increase in arthritic score (P < 0.003) and paw oedema (P < 0.001) with parallel loss in body weight (P < 0.04). The NHAG-treated arthritic animals exhibited refinement in the gait changes associated with arthritis. NHAG also significantly decreased the NO (P < 0.02) and PO (P < 0.03) with concurrent increased in GSH (P < 0.04) and SOD (P < 0.007). Both IL-1β (P < 0.001) and TNF-α (P < 0.001), were significantly decreased in NHAG-treated group. Thus NHAG might have a therapeutic potential for arthritis by exerting antioxidative and immunomodulatory effects.
Background: Therapeutic strategies to block tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) activity in experimental autoimmune arthritis models and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have proved highly successful, and provide sustained beneficial effects.
Objective: To examine whether TNFα inhibition has immunological activity beyond the reduction of inflammation in collagen induced arthritis (CIA), an established experimental model of RA.
Methods: Arthritic DBA/1 mice received single periarticular injections of retroviral constructs encoding human TNF receptor (TNF-R) into the affected arthritic paw, at the onset of arthritis. Severity of arthritis, antibodies to collagen type II (CII), and extent of pathological joint damage of arthritic paws were compared between TNF-R and media treated (control) animals 3, 7, 14, 21, and 49 days after disease onset.
Results: Severity of CIA was significantly decreased in TNF-R treated animals compared with controls, 14–34 days after disease onset. Joint destruction was reduced in TNF-R injected joints and in the uninjected contralateral and ipsilateral paws of TNF-R treated animals. Seven days after disease onset, TNF-R treated mice had lower levels of inflammatory Th1 driven IgG2a antibodies to CII (p<0.05) than controls. This altered the anticollagen IgG2a:IgG1 ratio towards Th2 driven IgG1.
Conclusions: Local TNF-R gene therapy in CIA appears to have systemic effects on the anti-CII antibodies. The overall influence of TNF-R gene therapy is that it inhibits the progression of CIA mainly by suppressing the inflammatory Th1 response rather than by stimulating a Th2 response. Therefore, periarticular TNF-R gene therapy may have excellent therapeutic potential in RA.
A population pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic–disease progression (PK/PD/DIS) model was developed to characterize the effects of anakinra in collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) rats and explore the role of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in rheumatoid arthritis. The CIA rats received either vehicle, or anakinra at 100 mg/kg for about 33 h, 100 mg/kg for about 188 h, or 10 mg/kg for about 188 h by subcutaneous infusion. Plasma concentrations of anakinra were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Swelling of rat hind paws was measured. Population PK/PD/DIS parameters were computed for the various groups using non-linear mixed-effects modeling software (NONMEM® Version VI). The final model was assessed using visual predictive checks and nonparameter stratified bootstrapping. A two-compartment PK model with two sequential absorption processes and linear elimination was used to capture PK profiles of anakinra. A transduction-based feedback model incorporating logistic growth rate captured disease progression and indirect response model I captured drug effects. The PK and paw swelling versus time profiles in CIA rats were fitted well. Anakinra has modest effects (Imax = 0.28) on paw edema in CIA rats. The profiles are well-described by our PK/PD/DIS model which provides a basis for future mechanism-based assessment of anakinra dynamics in rheumatoid arthritis.
Anakinra; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; Rheumatoid arthritis; Population model
Triptolide, an active compound of Radix Tripterygium wilfordii, is immunosuppressive, cartilage protective and anti-inflammatory both in human and animal studies of various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, but its therapeutic mechanism remains unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of triptolide on cartilage cytokines in the CIA model.
Sprague Dawley rats were immunized with type II collagen and orally administered with triptolide. The arthritic scores and incidence changes of the rats were observed. The expression of TNF-α, IL-6, COX-2 and NF-κB in paw cartilage was studied with immunohistochemical staining.
Triptolide, at both high and low doses, significantly lowered the arthritic scores, delayed the onset of arthritis and lowered the arthritis incidence. Triptolide treatment at both high and low doses lowered the expression of TNF-α, IL-6, COX-2 and NF-κB in paw cartilage in arthritic rats.
Triptolide lowers the arthritic scores, delays the onset of collagen induced arthritis and reduces the expressions of TNF-α, IL-6, NF-κB and COX-2 in paw cartilage in arthritic rats.
To investigate the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of the denatured Naja Naja atra venom (NNAV) in rheumatoid arthritis-associated models, the denatured NNAV (heat treated; 30, 90, 270 μg/kg), the native NNAV (untreated with heat; 90 μg/kg), and Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycoside (TWP, 15 mg/kg) were administrated orally either prophylactically or therapeutically. We measured time of licking the affected paw in formaldehyde-induced inflammatory model, paw volume in egg-white-induced inflammation, and granuloma weight in formalin-soaked filter paper-induced granuloma. For adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rats, paw edema, mechanical withdrawal threshold, serum levels of TNF-α and IL-10, and histopathological changes of the affected paw were assessed. We found that the denatured NNAV (90, 270 μg/kg) significantly reduced time of licking paw, paw volume, and granuloma weight in above inflammatory models and also attenuated paw edema, mechanical hyperalgesia, and histopathology changes in AIA rats. Additionally, the increase in serum TNF-α and the decrease in serum IL-10 in AIA rats were reversed by the denatured NNAV. Although the native NNAV and TWP rendered the similar pharmacological actions on the above four models with less potency than that of the denatured NNAV, these findings demonstrate that oral administration of the denatured NNAV produces antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities on rheumatoid arthritis.
Postmenopausal patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are often treated with corticosteroids. Loss of estrogen, the inflammatory disease and exposure to corticosteroids all contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Therefore, our aim was to investigate if addition of the selective estrogen receptor modulator raloxifene, or estradiol, could prevent loss of bone mineral density in ovariectomized and dexamethasone treated mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).
Female DBA/1-mice were ovariectomized or sham-operated, and CIA was induced. Treatment with dexamethasone (Dex) (125 μg/d), estradiol (E2) (1 μg/d) or raloxifene (Ral) (120 μg/day) alone, or the combination of Dex + E2 or Dex + Ral, was started after disease onset, and continued until termination of the experiments. Arthritic paws were collected for histology and one of the femoral bones was used for measurement of bone mineral density.
Dex-treatment alone protected against arthritis and joint destruction, but had no effect on osteoporosis in CIA. However, additional treatment with either Ral or E2 resulted in completely preserved bone mineral density.
Addition of raloxifene or estradiol to dexamethasone-treatment in experimental postmenopausal polyarthritis prevents generalized bone loss.
Raloxifene; Estradiol; Dexamethasone; collagen-induced arthritis; bone mineral density
The effects of probiotic bacteria Enterococcus faecium (EF)
and selenium were studied on methotrexate (MTX) treatment in rats with adjuvant
Arthritic rats were preventive treated orally with the following substances:
lyophilized EF (15 mg/kg/day, 5 days a week); sodium selenite pentahydrate
(SSe, 0.050 mg/kg containing 0.015 mg/kg selenium, 5 days a week); MTX (0.6
mg/kg/week), and their combinations for the period of 50 days from adjuvant
application. Levels of serum albumin, serum nitrite/nitrate concentrations, hind
paw swelling, arthrogram scores, whole body bone mineral density (BMD), and
bone erosions were evaluated
as markers of inflammation and destructive changes associated with arthritis.
Long-term preventive treatment with low-dose MTX significantly inhibited
the markers of both inflammation and arthritis. EF or SSe when administered
singly or in combination had no significant effect on given parameters in arthritic
rats. EF but not SSe potentiated the beneficial effects of MTX, which resulted in
a more significant reduction of hind paw swelling, arthrogram scores and whole
body BMD decrease. EF had a tendency to improve also the effect of MTX on
serum albumin and nitrite/nitrate concentrations.
Our results indicate that EF may increase the preventive effect of MTX
rat AA by improving its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects.
The potential therapeutic action of shikonin in an experimental model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was investigated. As a RA animal model, DBA/1J mice were immunized two times with type II collagen. After the second collagen immunization, mice were orally administered shikonin (2 mg/kg) once a day for 35 days, and the incidence, clinical score, bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC) and joint histopathology were evaluated. BMD in the proximal regions of the tibia largely increased in the shikonin treatment group compared with the control group. We also examined the effect of shikonin on inflammatory cytokines and cartilage protection. Shikonin treatment significantly reduced the incidence and severity of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), markedly abrogating joint swelling and cartilage destruction. Shikonin also significantly inhibited the production of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and up-regulated tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 in mice with CIA. In conclusion, shikonin exerted therapeutic effects through regulation of MMP/TIMP; these results suggest that shikonin is an outstanding candidate as a cartilage protective medicine for RA.
Shikonin; Bone mineral density; Bone mineral contents; MMP-1; TIMP-1
To evaluate the incidence of new and/or progressive vertebral deformities and changes in bone mineral density, we re-examined 66 patients with sarcoidosis after a follow-up period of four years. In 17 subjects (26%) new and/or progressive vertebral deformities were found, though BMD did not change significantly.
Previous studies from our group have shown that morphometric vertebral deformities suggestive of fractures can be found in 20% of patients with sarcoidosis, despite a normal bone mineral density (BMD). The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of new and/or progressive vertebral deformities and the evolution of BMD during the course of this disease.
BMD of the hip (DXA) and vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) with lateral single energy densitometry was performed at baseline and after 45 months in 66 patients with sarcoidosis. Potential predictors of new/progressive vertebral deformities were assessed using logistic regression analysis.
The BMD of the total group was unchanged after follow-up. The prevalence of vertebral deformities increased from 20 to 32% ( < 0.05); in 17 subjects (26%) new or progressive vertebral deformities were diagnosed. A lower T-score of the femoral neck [(OR = 2.5 (CI: 1.0-5.9), < 0.05)] and mother with a hip fracture [(OR = 14.1 (CI:1.4-142.6), < 0.05)] were independent predictors of new/progressive deformities.
In subjects with sarcoidosis the number of vertebral deformities increases in the course of this disease, despite unchanged BMD. The combination of low normal BMD and family history of fragility fractures confers an increased risk of the incidence of these deformities.
Bone mineral density; Sarcoidosis; Vertebral deformities
This study was aimed at examining the effect of an ointment containing essential oils (EO) on the severity of adjuvant arthritis (AA), an experimental model of human rheumatoid arthritis (RA), in Lewis rats and to define the underlying mechanisms. At the onset of AA, rats received topical application twice daily of ointment containing 20% EO or placebo ointment. The synovial fluid (SF) and synovium-infiltrating cells (SIC) of rats were tested for pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β. The hind paws and skin were examined histologically. The activity/level of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and anti-mycobacterial heat-shock protein 65 (Bhsp65) antibodies was tested. Arthritic rats treated with ointment containing EO developed less severe clinical arthritis compared to the controls, and this activity was attributable to EO and not the carrier oil. The levels of TNF-α and IL-1β, and the activity of MMPs in SF and SIC-lysate were significantly (p<0.05) reduced in EO-treated arthritic rats compared to the controls. However, the levels of anti-Bhsp65 antibodies were unaffected by treatment. Thus, topical dermal delivery of EO-containing ointment downmodulates the severity of AA in Lewis rats by inhibiting defined mediators of inflammation. Such ointments should be tested in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.
Essential oils; Arthritis; Cytokines; Topical application; MMPs; Inflammation
Standard measurements used to assess murine models of rheumatoid arthritis, notably paw thickness and clinical score, do not align well with certain aspects of disease severity as assessed by histopathology. We tested the hypothesis that non-invasive optical tomographic imaging of molecular biomarkers of inflammation and bone turnover would provide a superior quantitative readout and would discriminate between a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) and a non-DMARD treatment.
Using two protease-activated near-infrared fluorescence imaging agents to detect inflammation-associated cathepsin and matrix metalloprotease activity, and a third agent to detect bone turnover, we quantified fluorescence in paws of mice with collagen antibody-induced arthritis. Fluorescence molecular tomographic (FMT) imaging results, which provided deep tissue detection and quantitative readouts in absolute picomoles of agent fluorescence per paw, were compared with paw swelling, clinical scores, a panel of plasma biomarkers, and histopathology to discriminate between steroid (prednisolone), DMARD (p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitor) and non-DMARD (celecoxib, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor) treatments.
Paw thickness, clinical score, and plasma biomarkers failed to discriminate well between a p38 MAPK inhibitor and a COX-2 inhibitor. In contrast, FMT quantification using near-infrared agents to detect protease activity or bone resorption yielded a clear discrimination between the different classes of therapeutics. FMT results agreed well with inflammation scores, and both imaging and histopathology provided clearer discrimination between treatments as compared with paw swelling, clinical score, and serum biomarker readouts.
Non-invasive optical tomographic imaging offers a unique approach to monitoring disease pathogenesis and correlates with histopathology assessment of joint inflammation and bone resorption. The specific use of optical tomography allowed accurate three-dimensional imaging, quantitation in picomoles rather than intensity or relative fluorescence, and, for the first time, showed that non-invasive imaging assessment can predict the pathologist's histology inflammation scoring and discriminate DMARD from non-DMARD activity.
Osteoclasts play a key role in the pathogenesis of bone erosion and systemic bone mass loss during rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this study, we aimed to determine the effect of methotrexate (MTX) and zoledronic acid (ZA), used alone or in combination, on osteoclast-mediated bone erosions and systemic bone mass loss in a rat model of collagen induced arthritis (CIA). We hypothesized that MTX and ZA could have an additive effect to prevent both bone erosion and systemic bone loss.
Arthritis was induced in 64 female Sprague-Dawley rats. After the clinical onset of CIA, rats were assigned to treatment with MTX (1 mg/kg/week), ZA (100 μg/kg twice weekly), both treatments at the same regimens, or vehicle. Arthritis score and paw thickness were recorded twice weekly. The rats were sacrificed on D28 and hind paws were removed for radiographic, histological and immunohistochemical analysis. The effects of treatments on osteoclastogenesis were determined by Tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining. Micro-CT of the tibia was carried out for histomorphometric analysis. Bone mass density was evaluated by densitometry.
MTX significantly decreased the severity of CIA, whereas ZA slightly exacerbated it. When these two drugs were used in combination, MTX prevented the pro-inflammatory effect of ZA. The combination of ZA with MTX was more effective than MTX alone for reducing structural joint damage with a dramatic decrease of osteoclasts' number in the eroded joints. However, MTX alone also significantly reduced the number of osteoclasts and the number of CD68+ mononuclear cells. ZA alone, or ZA with MTX, significantly increased the systemic bone mass density measured by densitometry and bone volume on histomorphometric analysis.
A combination of MTX and ZA prevented both bone erosion and systemic bone loss in a rat model of arthritis. Both treatments independently decreased the number of osteoclasts in the eroded joint. However, while MTX probably acts mainly through a decrease of inflammation, ZA has a direct effect on osteoclasts, allowing a dramatic down-regulation of these cells in inflamed joints. These two different mechanisms of action provide support for the use of a combination of these two drugs to improve the prevention of structural joint damage in RA.
Plectranthus amboinicus (P. amboinicus) is a folk herb that is used to treat inflammatory diseases or swelling symptoms in Taiwan. We investigated therapeutic efficacy of P. amboinicus in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) using collagen-induced arthritis animal model. Arthritis was induced in Lewis rats by immunization with bovine type II collagen. Serum anti-collagen IgG, IgM and C-reactive protein (CRP) were analyzed. To understand the inflammation condition of treated animals, production of TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β from peritoneal exudates cells (PEC) were also analyzed. P. amboinicus significantly inhibited the footpad swelling and arthritic symptoms in collagen-induced arthritic rats, while the serum anti-collagen IgM and CRP levels were consistently decreased. The production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β were also decreased in the high dosage of P. amboinicus group. Here, we demonstrate the potential anti-arthritic effect of P. amboinicus for treating RA, which might confer its anti-rheumatic activity. This differs the pharmacological action mode of indomethacin.
collagen; rheumatoid; arthritis; herbal medicine; inflammation
We evaluated the efficacy of oral alendronate with different dosing regimens for non-nociceptive symptoms and osteoporosis in a sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury (CCI) model. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=60) were subdivided into sham control (SC) group and CCI groups, which were divided according to dosage and time of oral alendronate administration: no treatment (NT), low dosage early (LE), high dosage early (HE), low dosage late (LL) and high dosage late (HL). We measured the thickness and temperature of the hind paw, bone mineral density (BMD) of the tibia, along with tibia bone strength. On the 14th day post-CCI, the HE group showed significant reduction in thickness and temperature (P<0.001). On the 42nd day post-CCI, the HE group showed significant reduction in temperature compared to the NT group (P<0.001). Also, both HE and HL groups showed statistically significant increased tibia BMD (P<0.001), along with increase of tibia bone strength compared to the NT group. Based on these findings, early alendronate in high dosages is effective in the non-nociceptive symptoms; early and late alendronate in high dosages, are effective in preventing bone dystrophic changes in a CCI model.
Chronic Constriction; Edema; Temperature; Alendronate; Bone Density
Endosomal toll-like receptors (TLRs) have recently emerged as potential contributors to the inflammation observed in human and rodent models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aims to evaluate the role of endosomal TLRs and in particular TLR7 in the murine collagen induced arthritis (CIA) model.
CIA was induced by injection of collagen in complete Freund's adjuvant. To investigate the effect of endosomal TLRs in the CIA model, mianserin was administered daily from the day of disease onset. The specific role of TLR7 was examined by inducing CIA in TLR7-deficient mice. Disease progression was assessed by measuring clinical score, paw swelling, serum anti-collagen antibodies histological parameters, cytokine production and the percentage of T regulatory (Treg) cells.
Therapeutic administration of mianserin to arthritic animals demonstrated a highly protective effect on paw swelling and joint destruction. TLR7-/- mice developed a mild arthritis, where the clinical score and paw swelling were significantly compromised in comparison to the control group. The amelioration of arthritis by mianserin and TLR7 deficiency both corresponded with a reduction in IL-17 responses, histological and clinical scores, and paw swelling.
These data highlight the potential role for endosomal TLRs in the maintenance of inflammation in RA and support the concept of a role for TLR7 in experimental arthritis models. This study also illustrates the potential benefit that may be afforded by therapeutically inhibiting the endosomal TLRs in RA.
Rats are used to model human corticospinal tract (CST) injury and repair. We asked whether rats possess the ability to orient their paw to the reaching target and whether the CST mediates this skill, as it does in primates. To test this ability, called preshaping, we trained rats to reach for pieces of pasta oriented either vertically or horizontally. We measured paw angle relative to the target and asked whether rats used target information attained before contact to preshape the paw, indicating feed-forward control. We also determined if preshaping improved with practice. We then selectively lesioned the CST in the medullary pyramid contralateral to the reaching forepaw to test whether preshaping relies on the CST. Rats significantly oriented their paw to the pasta orientation before contact, demonstrating feed-forward control. Both preshaping and reaching efficiency improved with practice, while selective CST lesion abrogated both. The loss of preshaping was greatest for pasta oriented vertically, suggesting loss of supination, as seen with human CST injury. The degree of preshaping loss strongly correlated with the amount of skill acquired at baseline, suggesting that the CST mediates the learned component of preshaping. Finally, the amount of preshaping lost after injury strongly correlated with reduced retrieval success, showing an important functional consequence for preshaping. Thus, we demonstrate, for the first time, preshaping in the rat, and dependence of this skill on the CST. Understanding the basis for this skill and measuring its recovery after injury will be important for studying higher-level motor control in rats.
Motor learning; motor control; injury; repair; motor cortex; activity