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1.  Modeling Corticosteroid Effects in a Rat Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis I: Mechanistic Disease Progression Model for the Time Course of Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Lewis Rats 
A mechanism-based model was developed to describe the time course of arthritis progression in the rat. Arthritis was induced in male Lewis rats with type II porcine collagen into the base of the tail. Disease progression was monitored by paw swelling, bone mineral density (BMD), body weights, plasma corticosterone (CST) concentrations, and TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression in paw tissue. Bone mineral density was determined by PIXImus II dual energy x-ray densitometry. Plasma CST was assayed by HPLC. Cytokine and GR mRNA were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Disease progression models were constructed from transduction and indirect response models and applied using S-ADAPT software. A delay in the onset of increased paw TNF-α and IL-6 mRNA concentrations was successfully characterized by simple transduction. This rise was closely followed by an up-regulation of GR mRNA and CST concentrations. Paw swelling and body weight responses peaked approximately 21 days post induction while bone mineral density changes were greatest at 23 days post induction. After peak response the time course in IL-1β, IL-6 mRNA, and paw edema slowly declined towards a disease steady-state. Model parameters indicate TNF-α and IL-1β mRNA most significantly induce paw edema while IL-6 mRNA exerted the most influence on BMD. The model for bone mineral density captures rates of turnover of cancellous and cortical bone and the fraction of each in the different regions analyzed. This small systems model integrates and quantitates multiple factors contributing to arthritis in rats.
PMCID: PMC2574807  PMID: 18448865
2.  Pharmacokinetics of Dexamethasone in a Rat Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis 
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.
PMCID: PMC3712282  PMID: 18613033
dexamethasone; pharmacokinetics; arthritis; collagen
3.  Gene therapy for established murine collagen-induced arthritis by local and systemic adenovirus-mediated delivery of interleukin-4 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(4):293-302.
To determine whether IL-4 is therapeutic in treating established experimental arthritis, a recombinant adenovirus carrying the gene that encodes murine IL-4 (Ad-mIL-4) was used for periarticular injection into the ankle joints into mice with established collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Periarticular injection of Ad-mIL-4 resulted in a reduction in the severity of arthritis and joint swelling compared with saline- and adenoviral control groups. Local expression of IL-4 also reduced macroscopic signs of joint inflammation and bone erosion. Moreover, injection of Ad-mIL-4 into the hind ankle joints resulted in a decrease in disease severity in the untreated front paws. Systemic delivery of murine IL-4 by intravenous injection of Ad-mIL-4 resulted in a significant reduction in the severity of early-stage arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease that is characterized by joint inflammation, and progressive cartilage and bone erosion. Recent research has identified certain biologic agents that appear more able than conventional therapies to halt effectively the progression of disease, as well as ameliorate disease symptoms. One potential problem with the use of biologic agents for arthritis therapy is the need for daily or weekly repeat dosing. The transfer of genes directly to the synovial lining can theoretically circumvent the need for repeat dosing and reduce potential systemic side effects [1,2]. However, although many genes have been effective in treating murine CIA if administrated at a time before disease onset, local intra-articular or periarticular gene transfer has not been highly effective in halting the progression of established disease. IL-4, similar to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-1 inhibitors, has been shown be therapeutic for the treatment of murine CIA when administered intravenously as a recombinant protein, either alone or in combination with IL-10. IL-4 can downregulate the production of proinflammatory and T-helper (Th)1-type cytokines by inducing mRNA degradation and upregulating the expression of inhibitors of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) [3,4]. IL-4 is able to inhibit IL-2 and IFN-γ production by Th1 cells, resulting in suppression of macrophage activation and the production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α by monocytes and macrophages [4,5,6,7,8,9].
In order to examine the therapeutic effects of local and systemic IL-4 expression in established CIA, an adenoviral vector carrying the gene for murine IL-4 (Ad-mIL-4) was generated. The ability of Ad-mIL-4 to treat established CIA was evaluated by local periarticular and systemic intravenous injection of Ad-mIL-4 into mice at various times after disease onset.
Materials and methods:
Male DBA/1 lacJ (H-2q) mice, aged 7-8 weeks, were purchased from The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME, USA). The mice were immunized intradermally at the base of tail with 100 μ g bovine type II collagen. On day 21 after priming, mice received a boost injection (intradermally) with 100 μ g type II collagen in incomplete adjuvant. For the synchronous onset of arthritis, 40 μ g lipopolysaccharide (Sigma, St Louis, MO, USA) was injected intraperitoneally on day 28. Ad-mIL-4 was injected periarticularly into the hind ankle joints of mice on day 32 or intravenously by tail vein injection on day 29. Disease severity was monitored every other day using an established macroscopic scoring system ranging from 0 to 4: 0, normal; 1, detectable arthritis with erythma; 2, significant swelling and redness; 3, severe swelling and redness from joint to digit; and 4, maximal swelling with ankylosis. The average of macroscopic score was expressed as a cumulative value for all paws, with a maximum possible score of 16 per mouse. Cytokine production by joint tissue or serum were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA; R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN, USA).
To examine the therapeutic effects of IL-4 gene transfer in a murine model of arthritis, 5×108 particles of Ad-mIL-4 and enhanced green fluorescent protein (Ad-eGFP) were administered by periarticular injection into the ankle joints of mice with established disease 4 days after lipopolysaccharide injection. All mice had established disease at time of injection. As shown in Figure 1, the severity of arthritis (Fig. 1a), paw thickness (Fig. 1b), and the number of arthritic paws (Fig. 1c) were all significantly reduced in the Ad-mIL-4 group, compared with the saline- and Ad-eGFP-treated groups. Analysis of the bones in the ankle joints of control arthritic mice showed evidence of erosion with an associated monocytic infiltrate around the joint space compared with the Ad-mIL-4-treated and nonarthritic control joints. In addition, injection of the ankle joints in the hind legs resulted in a therapeutic effect in the front paws. A similar contralateral effect has been observed with adenoviral-mediated delivery of viral (v)-IL-10. Interestingly, a high level of murine IL-10 also was detected from the joint lysates of Ad-mIL-4-treated naïve and arthritic mice, with the production of endogenous IL-10 correlating with the dose of Ad-mIL-4. The administration of recombinant IL-4 protein systemically has been shown to be therapeutic in murine CIA models if given before disease onset. To examine the effect of systemic IL-4 delivered by gene transfer, 1×109 particles of Ad-mIL-4 were injected via the tail vein of collagen-immunized mice the day after lipopolysaccharide injection. Whereas the immunized control mice, injected with Ad-eGFP, showed disease onset on day 3 after lipopolysaccharide injection, Ad-mIL-4-treated mice showed a delay in disease onset and as a reduction in the total number of arthritic paws. Also, systemic injection of Ad-mIL-4 suppressed the severity of arthritis in CIA mice according to arthritis index.
Gene therapy represents a novel approach for delivery of therapeutic agents to joints in order to treat the pathologies associated with RA and osteoarthritis, as well as other disorders of the joints. In the present study we examined the ability of local periarticular and systemic gene transfer of IL-4 to treat established and early-stage murine CIA, respectively. We have demonstrated that both local and systemic administration of Ad-mIL-4 resulted in a reduction in the severity of arthritis, as well as in the number of arthritic paws. In addition, the local gene transfer of IL-4 reduced histologic signs of inflammation and of bone erosion. Interestingly, local delivery of Ad-mIL-4 was able to confer a therapeutic effect to the untreated, front paws through a currently unknown mechanism. In addition, both local and systemic expression of IL-4 resulted in an increase in the level of endogenous IL-10, as well as of IL-1Ra (data not shown). Previous experiments have shown that gene transfer of IL-10 and IL-1 and TNF inhibitors at the time of disease initiation (day 28) is therapeutic. However, delivery of these agents after disease onset appeared to have only limited therapeutic effect. In contrast, the present results demonstrate that IL-4, resulting from local periarticular and systemic injection of Ad-mIL-4, was able partially to reverse progression of established and early-stage disease, respectively. These results, as well as those of others, support the potential application of IL-4 gene therapy for the clinical treatment of RA.
PMCID: PMC17812  PMID: 11056670
adenoviral vectors; collagen-induced arthritis; gene therapy; IL-4; IL-10; rheumatoid arthritis
4.  RANKL inhibition by osteoprotegerin prevents bone loss without affecting local or systemic inflammation parameters in two rat arthritis models: comparison with anti-TNFα or anti-IL-1 therapies 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2009;11(6):R187.
Rat adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) feature bone loss and systemic increases in TNFα, IL-1β, and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL). Anti-IL-1 or anti-TNFα therapies consistently reduce inflammation in these models, but systemic bone loss often persists. RANKL inhibition consistently prevents bone loss in both models without reducing joint inflammation. Effects of these therapies on systemic markers of bone turnover and inflammation have not been directly compared.
Lewis rats with established AIA or CIA were treated for 10 days (from day 4 post onset) with either PBS (Veh), TNFα inhibitor (pegsunercept), IL-1 inhibitor (anakinra), or RANKL inhibitor (osteoprotegerin (OPG)-Fc). Local inflammation was evaluated by monitoring hind paw swelling. Bone mineral density (BMD) of paws and lumbar vertebrae was assessed by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Markers and mediators of bone resorption (RANKL, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRACP 5B)) and inflammation (prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), acute-phase protein alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (α1AGP), multiple cytokines) were measured in serum (day 14 post onset).
Arthritis progression significantly increased paw swelling and ankle and vertebral BMD loss. Anti-TNFα reduced paw swelling in both models, and reduced ankle BMD loss in AIA rats. Anti-IL-1 decreased paw swelling in CIA rats, and reduced ankle BMD loss in both models. Anti-TNFα and anti-IL-1 failed to prevent vertebral BMD loss in either model. OPG-Fc reduced BMD loss in ankles and vertebrae in both models, but had no effect on paw swelling. Serum RANKL was elevated in AIA-Veh and CIA-Veh rats. While antiTNFα and anti-IL-1 partially normalized serum RANKL without any changes in serum TRACP 5B, OPG-Fc treatment reduced serum TRACP 5B by over 90% in both CIA and AIA rats. CIA-Veh and AIA-Veh rats had increased serum α1AGP, IL-1β, IL-8 and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), and AIA-Veh rats also had significantly greater serum PGE2, TNFα and IL-17. Anti-TNFα reduced systemic α1AGP, CCL2 and PGE2 in AIA rats, while anti-IL-1 decreased systemic α1AGP, IL-8 and PGE2. In contrast, RANKL inhibition by OPG-Fc did not lessen systemic cytokine levels in either model.
Anti-TNFα or anti-IL-1 therapy inhibited parameters of local and systemic inflammation, and partially reduced local but not systemic bone loss in AIA and CIA rats. RANKL inhibition prevented local and systemic bone loss without significantly inhibiting local or systemic inflammatory parameters.
PMCID: PMC3003514  PMID: 20003323
5.  Development of a macromolecular prodrug for the treatment of inflammatory arthritis: mechanisms involved in arthrotropism and sustained therapeutic efficacy 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(5):R170.
The purpose of the present manuscript is to test the hypothesis that arthrotropic localization and synovial cell internalization account for the unique capacity of N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer-dexamethasone conjugate (P-Dex, a macromolecular prodrug of dexamethasone) to induce sustained amelioration of joint inflammation and inhibition of tissue damage in an animal model of inflammatory arthritis.
Rats with adjuvant-induced arthritis (AA) were treated with P-Dex, free dexamethasone, saline or HPMA homopolymer. To define the biodistribution of P-Dex, conjugates with different imaging labels were given to AA rats and analyzed. Isolated joint tissues were evaluated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and immunohistochemical staining. Cellular uptake of P-Dex and its effects on apoptosis and production of proinflammatory cytokines were examined using human monocyte-macrophages and fibroblasts.
A single systemic administration of P-Dex completely suppressed AA for >20 days. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated higher HPMA copolymer influx into the inflamed joints than the normal joints. Immunohistochemistry and FACS analyses of arthritic joints revealed extensive uptake of the polymer conjugate by synovial fibroblasts and myeloid lineage cells. The capacity of P-Dex to suppress inflammation was confirmed in monocyte-macrophage cultures in which P-Dex treatment resulted in suppression of lipopolysaccharide-induced IL-6 and TNFα release. Similarly, TNFα-induced expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP1 and MMP3) in synovial fibroblasts from a rheumatoid arthritis patient was suppressed by P-Dex. P-Dex showed no detectable effect on monocyte apoptosis.
P-Dex provides superior and sustained amelioration of AA compared with an equivalent dose of free dexamethasone. The arthrotropism and local retention of P-Dex is attributed to the enhanced vascular permeability in arthritic joints and the internalization of P-Dex by synovial cells. The uptake and processing of P-Dex by macrophages and fibroblasts, and downregulation of proinflammatory mediators, provides an explanation for the sustained anti-inflammatory efficacy of P-Dex in this model of inflammatory arthritis.
PMCID: PMC2990997  PMID: 20836843
6.  The Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Nociceptive Activities of Patrinia Villosa and Its Mechanism on the Proinflammatory Cytokines of Rats with Pelvic Inflammation 
This study explores the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activities of Patrinia villosa, a Chinese medicinal plant, and to explore its effects on the proinflammatory cytokines of the rats with pelvic inflammation model. The animals were randomly divided into Patrinia villosa group (PV group), dexamethasone group (DEX group), and model-control group (CON group) to perform an ear edema test, a carrageenin-induced paw edema test, a cotton pellet-induced granuloma formation test, and an acetic acid-induced writhing test. The model rats with pelvic inflammation were established, and the serum levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in each group was detected with the Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA). The results of the ear edema test, carrageenin-induced paw edema test, cotton pellet-induced granuloma formation test, and acetic acid-induced writhing test all showed that Patrinia villosa had strong anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects. In the experiment using model rats with pelvic inflammation, we found that the serum levels of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α in PV and DEX group were all significantly lower than those of the CON group, and the serum levels of IL-6 and IL-8 in PV group were significantly lower than those of the DEX group. Patrinia villosa, with its strong anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activities, can be used to treat pelvic inflammation and to relieve the associated pain.
PMCID: PMC3746661  PMID: 23983359
Patrinia villosa; anti-inflammatory; anti-nociceptive; pelvic inflammation
7.  Combined treatment with dexamethasone and raloxifene totally abrogates osteoporosis and joint destruction in experimental postmenopausal 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.
PMCID: PMC3218911  PMID: 21689408
Raloxifene; Estradiol; Dexamethasone; collagen-induced arthritis; bone mineral density
8.  A mechanism-based pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model for CYP3A1/2 induction by dexamethasone in rats 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2012;33(1):127-136.
To develop a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) model describing the receptor/gene-mediated induction of CYP3A1/2 by dexamethasone (DEX) in rats.
A group of male Sprague-Dawley rats receiving DEX (100 mg/kg, ip) were sacrificed at various time points up to 60 h post-treatment. Their blood sample and liver were collected. The plasma concentration of DEX was determined with a reverse phase HPLC method. CYP3A1/2 mRNA, protein levels and enzyme activity were measured using RT-PCR, ELISA and the testosterone substrate assay, respectively. Data analyses were performed using a first-order conditional estimate (FOCE) with INTERACTION method in NONMEM version 7.1.2.
A two-compartment model with zero-order absorption was applied to describe the pharmacokinetic characteristics of DEX. Systemic clearance, the apparent volume of distribution and the duration of zero-order absorption were calculated to be 172.7 mL·kg−1·h−1, 657.4 mL/kg and 10.47 h, respectively. An indirect response model with a series of transit compartments was developed to describe the induction of CYP3A1/2 via PXR transactivation by DEX. The maximum induction of CYP3A1 and CYP3A2 mRNA levels was achieved, showing nearly 21.29- and 8.67-fold increases relative to the basal levels, respectively. The CYP3A1 and CYP3A2 protein levels were increased by 8.02-fold and 2.49-fold, respectively. The total enzyme activities of CYP3A1/2 were shown to increase by up to 2.79-fold, with a lag time of 40 h from the Tmax of the DEX plasma concentration. The final PK/PD model was able to recapitulate the delayed induction of CYP3A1/2 mRNA, protein and enzyme activity by DEX.
A mechanism-based PK/PD model was developed to characterize the complex concentration-induction response relationship between DEX and CYP3A1/2 and to resolve the drug- and system-specific PK/PD parameters for the course of induction.
PMCID: PMC4010279  PMID: 22212433
drug-drug interactions; dexamethasone; CYP induction; CYP3A1/2; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; NONMEM
9.  Modeling receptor/gene-mediated effects of corticosteroids on hepatic tyrosine aminotransferase dynamics in rats: dual regulation by endogenous and exogenous corticosteroids 
Receptor/gene-mediated effects of corticosteroids on hepatic tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) were evaluated in normal rats. A group of normal male Wistar rats were injected with 50 mg/kg methylprednisolone (MPL) intramuscularly at the nadir of their plasma corticosterone (CST) rhythm (early light cycle) and sacrificed at various time points up to 96 h post-treatment. Blood and livers were collected to measure plasma MPL, CST, hepatic glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA, cytosolic GR density, TAT mRNA, and TAT activity. The pharmacokinetics of MPL showed bi-exponential disposition with two first-order absorption components from the injection site and bioavailability was 21%. Plasma CST was reduced after MPL dosing, but resumed its daily circadian pattern within 36 h. Cytosolic receptor density was significantly suppressed (90%) and returned to baseline by 72 h resuming its biphasic pattern. Hepatic GR mRNA follows a circadian pattern which was disrupted by MPL and did not return during the study. MPL caused significant down-regulation (50%) in GR mRNA which was followed by a delayed rebound phase (60–70 h). Hepatic TAT mRNA and activity showed up-regulation as a consequence of MPL, and returned to their circadian baseline within 72 and 24 h of treatment. A mechanistic receptor/gene-mediated pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model was able to satisfactorily describe the complex interplay of exogenous and endogenous corticosteroid effects on hepatic GR mRNA, cytosolic free GR, TAT mRNA, and TAT activity in normal rats.
PMCID: PMC4180077  PMID: 17593325
Methylprednisolone; Corticosteroids; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; Tyrosine aminotransferase; Glucocorticoid receptors
10.  The Syntheses of Click PEG – Dexamethasone Conjugates for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Biomacromolecules  2010;11(10):2621-2628.
A novel linear multifunctional polyethylene glycol (PEG)-dexamethasone (Dex) conjugate (click PEG-Dex) was synthesized using facile Cu(I)-catalyzed Huisgen 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (a click reaction). Dex was conjugated to the click PEG via an acid-labile hydrazone bond to allow the drug release in pathophysiological environment. To evaluate click PEG’s potential as a versatile drug delivery platform, the click PEG-Dex conjugates were tested in an adjuvant-induced arthritis (AA) rat model. In vivo optical imaging data confirmed the arthrotropism of the conjugates in the arthritic rats. Long-term treatment study revealed that a single click PEG-Dex conjugate administration provided sustained (> 15 days) amelioration of ankle joint inflammation to the AA rats. Treatment with equivalent dose of dexamethasone phosphate sodium (free Dex) only provides temporal resolution of the arthritis, which recurred upon treatment withdrawal. Further histological and bone mineral density comparison between the ankle joints from both click PEG-Dex and free Dex treatment groups confirmed the superior anti-inflammatory and disease modifying effects of the novel polymer-drug conjugates.
PMCID: PMC2966310  PMID: 20831200
Click PEG; Dexamethasone; Polymer-drug Conjugate; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Arthrotropism
11.  Modeling Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics of Abatacept and Disease Progression in Collagen-Induced Arthritic Rats - A Population Approach 
The PK / PD of abatacept, a selective T-cell co-stimulation modulator, was examined in rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) using a nonlinear mixed effect modeling approach. Male Lewis rats underwent collagen induction to produce rheumatoid arthritis. Two single-dose groups received either 10 mg/kg intravenous (IV) or 20 mg/kg subcutaneous (SC) abatacept, and one multiple-dose group received one 20 mg/kg SC abatacept dose and four additional 10 mg/kg SC doses. Effects on disease progression (DIS) were measured by paw swelling. Plasma concentrations of abatacept were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The PK / PD data were sequentially fitted using NONMEM VI. Goodness-of-fit was assessed by objective functions and visual inspection of diagnostic plots. The PK of abatacept followed a two-compartment model with linear elimination. For SC doses, short-term zero-order absorption was assumed with F = 59.2 %. The disease progression component was an indirect response model with a time-dependent change in paw edema production rate constant (kin) that was inhibited by abatacept. Variation in the PK data could be explained by inter-individual variability in clearance (CL) and central compartment volume (V1), while the large variability of the PD data may be the result of paw edema production (kin0) and loss rate constant (kout). Abatacept has modest effects on paw swelling in CIA rats. The PK / PD profiles were well described by the proposed model and allowed evaluation of inter-individual variability on drug- and DIS-related parameters.
PMCID: PMC3947259  PMID: 24233383
Abatacept; arthritis; model; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; disease progression
12.  Effects of Ethyl Acetate Extract of Poncirus trifoliata Fruit for Glucocorticoid-Induced Osteoporosis 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2012;20(1):89-95.
Poncirus trifoliata fruit (PTF) affects the digestive and cardiovascular systems, and kidney function. The authors studied the effects of ethyl acetate (EtOAc) extract of PTF on the activities of osteoblasts and in an animal model. The main compounds of the EtOAc extract, naringin and poncirin have been confi rmed by HPLC and NMR analysis. Effects of osteoblastic differentiation were mea-sured by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, osteopontin (OPN) protein expression and osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA expression in MC3T3-E1 cells. Also, osteoclast differentiation was measured by multinucleated cells (MNCs) formation through tartrate resistance acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive staining. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured before and after treatment with EtOAc extract of PTF in prednisolone-induced osteoporotic mice. Dexamethasone (DEX) decreased OPN and OPG expression level in MC3T3-E1 cells and ALP activity was decreased by DEX dose-dependently. EtOAc extract of PTF recovered the levels of ALP activity, and the expression of OPN and OPG in MC3T3-E1 cells treated with DEX. In osteoclast differentiation, multinucleated TRAP-positive cell formation was significantly suppressed by the EtOAc extract of PTF. Total body BMD was restored by EtOAc extract of PTF in prednisolone-induced osteoporotic mice. In conclusion, EtOAc extract of PTF recovered DEX-mediated deteriorations in osteoblastic and osteoclastic functions, and increased BMD in glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3792207  PMID: 24116280
Poncirus trifoliata fruit; Ethyl acetate extract; Osteoblast; Osteoclast; Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis
13.  Differential effects of cytokines and corticosteroids on Toll-like receptor 2 expression and activity in human airway epithelia 
Respiratory Research  2009;10(1):96.
The recognition of microbial molecular patterns via Toll-like receptors (TLRs) is critical for mucosal defenses.
Using well-differentiated primary cultures of human airway epithelia, we investigated the effects of exposure of the cells to cytokines (TNF-α and IFN-γ) and dexamethasone (dex) on responsiveness to the TLR2/TLR1 ligand Pam3CSK4. Production of IL-8, CCL20, and airway surface liquid antimicrobial activity were used as endpoints.
Microarray expression profiling in human airway epithelia revealed that first response cytokines markedly induced TLR2 expression. Real-time PCR confirmed that cytokines (TNF-α and IFN-γ), dexamethasone (dex), or cytokines + dex increased TLR2 mRNA abundance. A synergistic increase was seen with cytokines + dex. To assess TLR2 function, epithelia pre-treated with cytokines ± dex were exposed to the TLR2/TLR1 ligand Pam3CSK4 for 24 hours. While cells pre-treated with cytokines alone exhibited significantly enhanced IL-8 and CCL20 secretion following Pam3CSK4, mean IL-8 and CCL20 release decreased in Pam3CSK4 stimulated cells following cytokines + dex pre-treatment. This marked increase in inflammatory gene expression seen after treatment with cytokines followed by the TLR2 ligand did not correlate well with NF-κB, Stat1, or p38 MAP kinase pathway activation. Cytokines also enhanced TLR2 agonist-induced beta-defensin 2 mRNA expression and increased the antimicrobial activity of airway surface liquid. Dex blocked these effects.
While dex treatment enhanced TLR2 expression, co-administration of dex with cytokines inhibited airway epithelial cell responsiveness to TLR2/TLR1 ligand over cytokines alone. Enhanced functional TLR2 expression following exposure to TNF-α and IFN-γ may serve as a dynamic means to amplify epithelial innate immune responses during infectious or inflammatory pulmonary diseases.
PMCID: PMC2772856  PMID: 19835594
14.  Anti-inflammatory activity and neutrophil reductions mediated by the JAK1/JAK3 inhibitor, CP-690,550, in rat adjuvant-induced arthritis 
The Janus kinase (JAK) family of tyrosine kinases includes JAK1, JAK2, JAK3 and TYK2, and is required for signaling through Type I and Type II cytokine receptors. CP-690,550 is a potent and selective JAK inhibitor currently in clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune disease indications. In RA trials, dose-dependent decreases in neutrophil counts (PBNC) were observed with CP-690,550 treatment. These studies were undertaken to better understand the relationship between JAK selectivity and PBNC decreases observed with CP-690,550 treatment.
Potency and selectivity of CP-690,550 for mouse, rat and human JAKs was evaluated in a panel of in vitro assays. The effect of CP-690,550 on granulopoiesis from progenitor cells was also assessed in vitro using colony forming assays. In vivo the potency of orally administered CP-690,550 on arthritis (paw edema), plasma cytokines, PBNC and bone marrow differentials were evaluated in the rat adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) model.
CP-690,550 potently inhibited signaling through JAK1 and JAK3 with 5-100 fold selectivity over JAK2 in cellular assays, despite inhibiting all four JAK isoforms with nM potency in in vitro enzyme assays. Dose-dependent inhibition of paw edema was observed in vivo with CP-690,550 treatment. Plasma cytokines (IL-6 and IL-17), PBNC, and bone marrow myeloid progenitor cells were elevated in the context of AIA disease. At efficacious exposures, CP-690,550 returned all of these parameters to pre-disease levels. The plasma concentration of CP-690,550 at efficacious doses was above the in vitro whole blood IC50 of JAK1 and JAK3 inhibition, but not that of JAK2.
Results from this investigation suggest that CP-690,550 is a potent inhibitor of JAK1 and JAK3 with potentially reduced cellular potency for JAK2. In rat AIA, as in the case of human RA, PBNC were decreased at efficacious exposures of CP-690,550. Inflammatory end points were similarly reduced, as judged by attenuation of paw edema and cytokines IL-6 and IL-17. Plasma concentration at these exposures was consistent with inhibition of JAK1 and JAK3 but not JAK2. Decreases in PBNC following CP-690,550 treatment may thus be related to attenuation of inflammation and are likely not due to suppression of granulopoiesis through JAK2 inhibition.
PMCID: PMC2928212  PMID: 20701804
15.  Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Disease Progression Model for Effect of Etanercept in Lewis Rats with Collagen-Induced Arthritis 
Pharmaceutical research  2011;28(7):1622-1630.
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.
PMCID: PMC3726066  PMID: 21360252
arthritis; etanercept; model; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics
16.  Pharmacokinetic and Biodistribution Studies of N-(2-Hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) Copolymer-Dexamethasone Conjugates in Adjuvant–induced Arthritis (AA) Rat Model 
Molecular pharmaceutics  2010;7(4):1041-1049.
N-(2-Hydroxypropyl)-methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer has been found to be arthrotropic (joint-targeting) in adjuvant-induced arthritis (AA) rat model using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this manuscript, we report the quantitative pharmacokinetics and biodistribution (PK/BD) of 125I-labeled HPMA copolymer-dexamethasone conjugate (P-Dex) in AA rats. Structural parameters of the prodrug such as the molecular weight (MW) and Dex content were found to have strong impact on the PK/BD profiles of P-Dex. The increase of MW (14,000 24,000 and 42,000 g/mol) and Dex content (0, 151 and 313 µmol/g) enhances the arthrotropism of P-Dex. For the conjugate with highest MW and Dex content (P-H-MW/Dex), the percentage of injected doses per gram (ID/g) of ankle synovial tissue at day 7th post administration is 1 % g−1, which confirms P-Dex as an arthrotropic macromolecular prodrug. For liver and spleen, the ID/g values are 0.51 and 3.64 % g−1, respectively. As an antigen-presenting organ, the sequestration of the prodrug by spleen may be explained by its abnormal enlargement associated with the systemic inflammatory disease model. Gradual reduction of spleen weight due to the inflammation resolution effect of P-Dex may also contribute to the high ID/g values. Increase of Dex content and reduction of MW would increase P-Dex distribution to kidney. The highest ID/g value for kidney at day 7th post administration (0.91 % g−1) was found with P-L-Mw (MW =14,000 g/mol, Dex content = 288 µmol/g), which may suggest kidney tubuli reabsorption of the conjugates. The P-Dex’ distribution to heart and lung is minimum.
PMCID: PMC2914173  PMID: 20557133
rheumatoid arthritis; pharmacokinetics; biodistribution; dexamethasone; HPMA copolymer; prodrug; arthrotropism
17.  Synthesis and Evaluation of a Well-defined HPMA Copolymer-Dexamethasone Conjugate for Effective Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Pharmaceutical research  2008;25(12):2910-2919.
To develop a pH-sensitive dexamethasone (Dex)-containing N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymer conjugate with well-defined structure for the improved treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
A new pH-sensitive Dex-containing monomer (MA-Gly-Gly-NHN=Dex) was synthesized and copolymerized with HPMA using reversible addition-fragmentation transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The structure of the resulting HPMA copolymer-Dex conjugate (P-Dex) was analyzed and its therapeutic efficacy was evaluated on adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rats.
P-Dex was synthesized with controllable molecular weight and polydispersity index (PDI). The Dex content can be controlled by the feed-in ratio of MA-Gly-Gly-NHN=Dex. The P-Dex used for in vitro and in vivo evaluation has a weight average molecular weight (Mw) of 34 kDa and a PDI of 1.34. The in vitro drug-release studies showed that the Dex release from the conjugate was triggered by low pH. Clinical measurements, endpoint bone mineral density (BMD) test and histology grading from the in vivo evaluation all suggest that newly synthesized P-Dex has strong and long-lasting anti-inflammatory and joint protection effects.
A HPMA copolymer-dexamethasone conjugate with a well-defined structure has been synthesized and proved to be an effective anti-arthritis therapy. It may have a unique clinical application in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC2593120  PMID: 18649124
Macromolecular Therapy; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Dexamethasone; RAFT polymerization; Drug Delivery
18.  Plasma Leptin and Ghrelin in the Neonatal Rat: Interaction of Dexamethasone and Hypoxia 
The Journal of endocrinology  2005;185(3):477-484.
Ghrelin, leptin, and endogenous glucocorticoids play a role in appetite regulation, energy balance, and growth. The present study assessed the effects of dexamethasone (DEX) on these hormones, and on ACTH and pituitary POMC and CRHR1 mRNA expression, during a common metabolic stress – neonatal hypoxia. Newborn rats were raised in room air (21% O2) or under normobaric hypoxia (12% O2) from birth to postnatal day (PD) 7. DEX was administered on PD3 ( 0.5 mg/kg), PD4 (0.25 mg/kg), PD5 (0.125 mg/kg), and PD6 (0.05 mg/kg). Pups were studied on PD7 (24 h after last dose of DEX). DEX significantly increased plasma leptin and ghrelin in normoxic pups, but only increased ghrelin in hypoxic pups. Hypoxia alone resulted in a small increase in plasma leptin. Plasma corticosterone and pituitary POMC mRNA expression were decreased 24 h following the last dose of DEX, whereas plasma ACTH and pituitary CRHR1 mRNA expression had already increased (normoxia and hypoxia). Hypoxia alone increased corticosterone, but had no effect on ACTH or pituitary POMC and CRHR1 mRNA expression. Neonatal DEX treatment, hypoxia, and the combination of both affect hormones involved in energy homeostasis. Pituitary function in the neonate was quickly restored following dexamethasone-induced suppression of the HPA axis. The changes in ghrelin, leptin, and corticosterone may be beneficial to the hypoxic neonate through the maintenance of appetite and shifts in intermediary metabolism.
PMCID: PMC1249478  PMID: 15930174
dexamethasone; hypoxia; leptin; ghrelin; newborn
19.  514 Role of TH-17 Cytokines in Steroid Insensitivity in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells. Relationship to GR-alpha and GR-beta Expression 
Inhaled corticosteroids represent the most common treatment for asthma. Although most asthmatic patients respond well, a significant proportion of severe asthmatics require higher doses or even fail to respond to oral or inhaled corticosteroids. We previously reported that glucocorticoid receptor-beta is associated with corticosteroid resistance in airway epithelial cells from asthmatic patients and that Th-17 cytokines increase steroid insensitivity via a mechanism involving GR-beta upregulation. We aim to investigate whether IL-17A and F cytokines enhance steroid unresponsiveness in PBMCs from normal subjects and severe asthmatics via the upregulation of GR-beta isoform.
PBMCs were cultured for 48 hours in the presence or absence of IL-2, IL-4, IL-17A, IL-17F or IL-23 cytokines. Expression of GR-alpha, GR-beta, GILZ and IL-6 was determined using Q-RT-PCR and/or Western blotting. Response to Dexamethasone was determined on the inhibition of PHA-induced proliferation by Dexamethasone (IC50) using either 3H-thymidine or CFSE-labelled cells. Response of the cells to Dexamethasone-induced apoptosis was determined by Annexin-V staining.
Treatment of PBMCs with IL-17A+IL-17F combined significantly decreased the mRNA expression of GR-alpha while that of GR-beta was significantly upregulated. IL-2+IL-4 in combination significantly decreased GR-alpha expression but had no effect on GR-beta receptor expression. IL17A+IL17F+IL23 combined induced the highest ratio of GR-beta/GR-alpha in PBMC from normal subjects. Either IL-17A+F or IL-2+IL-4 combinations significantly decreased the inhibitory effect of Dexamethasone on PBMC proliferation (IL-17A+F IC50 = 190 nM Dex; IL-2+4 IC50 = 1060 nM Dex), when compared to the control without cytokine stimulation. In the presence of Dexamethasone, IL-2+IL-4 but not IL-17A+IL-17F, inhibited the expression of the glucocorticoid-inducible leucine zipper gene (GILZ) in PBMCs from both normal (60%) and asthmatics (45–50%), which was correlated with significantly higher apoptosis in cells stimulated with IL-2+IL-4.
IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-2, and IL-4, which are known to be upregulated in the blood and lung tissue of asthmatics, contribute to steroid insensitivity of severe asthmatic patients by modulating the expression of GR-alpha and GR-beta receptors on peripheral blood PBMCs. GR-beta could protect PBMCs from Dex-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, the increased GR-beta/GR-alpha ratios by both IL-17A+F and IL-2+4 cytokines correlates with the decreased inhibitory effect of Dexamethasone on PHA-induced PBMC proliferation.
PMCID: PMC3512825
20.  Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and toxicities of methotrexate in healthy and collagen-induced arthritic rats 
Biopharmaceutics & drug disposition  2013;34(4):10.1002/bdd.1838.
Methotrexate (MTX) is an anchor drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but responsiveness is variable in effectiveness and toxicity. Methotrexate and its polyglutamate conjugates (MTXPGn) in red blood cells (RBC) have been associated with patient response. In the current study, 13 collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) rats and 12 healthy rats were given subcutaneous doses of either saline or 0.3 or 1.5 mg/kg per 2 days of MTX from day 21 to 43 post-induction. Blood samples were obtained at various times to measure MTX in plasma, and MTX and MTXPGn in RBC. Effects on disease progression were indicated by body weight and paw size. After multiple-doses, RBC MTX reached steady-state (82.4 nM) within 4 days. The MTXPG2 and MTXPG3 in RBC kept increasing until the end of the study attaining 12.5 and 17.7 nM. Significant weight loss was observed after dosing of 1.5 mg/kg/2 days, whereas moderate effectiveness was observed after dosing of 0.3 mg/kg/2 days. A pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic/disease (PK/PD/DIS) model with indirect mechanisms and transduction components incorporating plasma MTX, RBC MTX, and RBC MTXPGn concentrations, and paw size was developed using naïve data pooling and ADAPT 5. The PK/PD in CIA rats dosed at 0.3 mg/kg/2 days were captured well by our proposed model. MTX showed modest (Imaxd = 0.16) but sensitive (IC50d = 0.712 nM) effectiveness on paw edema. The higher dose produced toxicity. The proposed model offers improved understanding of MTX effects on rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3656137  PMID: 23456770
Methotrexate; rheumatoid arthritis; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; disease progression
21.  Decreased Serum Vitamin D Levels in Children with Asthma are Associated with Increased Corticosteroid Usage 
There is little knowledge about clinical variables associated with vitamin D (vitD) insufficiency in asthmatic children.
To investigate disease variables associated with vitD insufficiency in childhood asthma and interaction of vitD with corticosteroid-mediated anti-inflammatory responses.
We analyzed 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum levels in 100 asthmatic children to investigate relationships between 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and patient characteristics. We determined vitD effects on dexamethasone (DEX) induction of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) and IL-10 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).
The median 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum level was 31 ng/mL. 47% of subjects had vitD levels in the insufficient range (<30 ng/mL), while 17% were vitD deficient (<20 ng/mL). Log10 IgE (p=0.01, ρ=−0.25) and the number of positive aeroallergen skin prick tests (p=0.02, ρ=−0.23) showed a significant inverse correlation with vitD, whereas FEV1% predicted (p =0.004, ρ=0.34) and FEV1/FVC ratio (p=0.01, ρ=0.30) showed a significant positive correlation with vitD. The use of inhaled steroids (p=0.0475), oral steroids (p=0.02), and total steroid dose (p=0.001), all showed significant inverse correlations with vitD. The amount of MKP-1 and IL-10 mRNA induced by vitD plus DEX was significantly greater than that induced by DEX alone (p<0.01). In an experimental model of steroid resistance where DEX alone did not inhibit T cell proliferation, addition of vitD to DEX resulted in significant dose dependent suppression of cell proliferation.
Corticosteroid use and worsening airflow limitation is associated with lower vitD serum levels in asthmatics. VitD enhances glucocorticoid action in asthmatic PBMC and enhances the immunosuppressive function of DEX in vitro.
Clinical Implications
Our study suggests that vitD supplementation may potentiate anti-inflammatory function of corticosteroids in asthmatics and thereby improve asthma control.
PMCID: PMC2866800  PMID: 20381849
vitamin D; children; asthma
22.  The Calcitonin and Glucocorticoids Combination: Mechanistic Insights into Their Class–Effect Synergy in Experimental Arthritis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e54299.
Previous work reported the anti-arthritic synergy afforded by combining calcitonin (CT) and glucocorticoids (GC). Here we focus on the pairing of elcatonin (eCT) and dexamethasone (Dex), querying whether: i) this was a class-effect action; ii) mechanistic insights could be unveiled; iii) the synergy affected canonical GC adverse effects.
Using the rat collagen-induced arthritis model, different combinations of eCT and Dex, were administered from disease onset to peak (day 11 to 18). Macroscopic disease score was monitored throughout, with biochemical and histological analyses conducted on plasma and tissues at day 18. The effect on acute hyperglycaemia and liver enzyme message were also assessed.
Whilst eCT alone was inactive, it synergised at 1 µg/kg with low doses of Dex (7.5 or 15 µg/kg) to yield an anti-arthritic efficacy equivalent to a 4- to 7-fold higher Dex dose. Mechanistically, the anti-arthritic synergy corresponded to a marked attenuation in RA-relevant analytes. CXCL5 expression, in both plasma and joint, was markedly inhibited by the co-therapy. Finally, co-administration of eCT did not exacerbate metrics of GC adverse effects, and rescued some of them.
We present evidence of a class-effect action for the anti-arthritic synergy of CT/GC combination, underpinned by the powerful inhibition of joint destruction markers. Furthermore, we identify CXCL5 as a marker for the combination therapy with potential diagnostic and prognostic utility. Substantial GC dose reduction, together with the absence of exacerbated adverse effects, indicated a significant clinical potential for this co-therapy in RA and beyond.
PMCID: PMC3564948  PMID: 23393556
23.  Efficacy of treatment with glycosaminoglycans on experimental collagen-induced arthritis in rats 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2003;5(3):R122-R131.
To evaluate the antioxidant activity of the glycosaminoglycans hyaluronic acid (HYA) and chondroitin-4-sulphate (C4S), we used a rat model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Arthritis was induced in Lewis rats by multiple intradermal injections of 250 μl of emulsion containing bovine type II collagen in complete Freund's adjuvant at the base of the tail and into three to five other sites on the back. Rats were challenged again with the same antigen preparation 7 days later. Disease developed about 11 days after the second immunization. The effects of treatment in the rats were monitored by biochemical parameters and by macroscopic and histological evaluations in blood, synovial tissue and articular cartilage. Arthritis produced the following symptoms: severe periarticular erythema, edema and inflammation in the hindpaws; membrane peroxidation in the cartilage of the joints; endogenous antioxidant wasting; high tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) plasma levels; and synovial neutrophil accumulation. Treatment with HYA and C4S, starting at the onset of arthritis for 10 days, limited the erosive action of the disease in the articular joints of knee and paw, reduced lipid peroxidation, restored the endogenous antioxidants reduced glutathione (GSH) and superoxide dismutase, decreased plasma TNF-α levels, and limited synovial neutrophil infiltration. These data confirm that erosive destruction of the joint cartilage in CIA is due at least in part to free radicals released by activated neutrophils and produced by other biochemical pathways. The beneficial effects obtained with the treatment suggest that HYA and C4S could be considered natural endogenous macromolecules to limit erosive damage in CIA or as a useful tool with which to study the involvement of free radicals in rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC165044  PMID: 12723984
antioxidants; collagen-induced arthritis; free radicals; glycosaminoglycans; lipid peroxidation
24.  Ameliorative Effects of a Polyphenolic Fraction of Cinnamomum zeylanicum L. Bark in Animal Models of Inflammation and Arthritis 
Scientia Pharmaceutica  2013;81(2):567-589.
Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum Syn C. verum, family: Lauraceae) is one of the oldest traditional medicines for inflammatory- and pain-related disorders. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of the polyphenol fraction from Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark (CPP) in animal models of inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. Dose-response studies of CPP (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) used in a separate set of in vivo experiments were conducted in acute (carrageenan-induced rat paw edema), subacute (cotton pellet-induced granuloma), and sub-chronic (AIA, adjuvant-induced established polyarthrtis) models of inflammation in rats and the acetic acid-induced writhing model of pain in mice. Effects of CPP on cytokine (IL-2, IL-4, and IFNγ) release from Concanavalin (ConA)-stimulated lymphocytes were also evaluated in vitro. CPP showed a strong and dose-dependent reduction in paw volume, weight loss reversal effects against carrageenan-induced paw edema, and cotton pellet-induced granuloma models in rats. CPP (200 mg/kg p.o. for 10 days) showed a significant reduction in elevated serum TNF-α concentration without causing gastric ulcerogenicity in the AIA model in rats. CPP also demonstrated mild analgesic effects during acute treatment as evidenced by the reduction in the writhing and paw withdrawal threshold of the inflamed rat paw during the acetic acid-induced writhing model and Randall-Selitto test. CPP was found to inhibit cytokine (IL-2, IL-4, and IFNγ) release from ConA-stimulated lymphocytes in vitro. In conclusion, CPP demonstrated prominent action in animal models of inflammation and arthritis and therefore can be considered as a potential anti-rheumatic agent with disease-modifying action.
PMCID: PMC3700084  PMID: 23833722
Cinnamon bark; Antiinflammatory; Rheumatoid arthritis
25.  Etanercept ameliorates inflammation and pain in a novel mono-arthritic multi-flare model of streptococcal cell wall induced arthritis 
The impact of anti-TNF, corticosteroid and analgesic therapy on inflammation and pain was evaluated in a novel mono-arthritic multi-flare rat Streptococcal Cell Wall (SCW) model using Etanercept, Dexamethasone and Buprenorphine.
Multiple flares of arthritis were induced with an intra-articular injection of SCW in the hind ankle on day 1, followed by intravenous challenges on days 21 and 42. Inflammation and pain were monitored in the hind paws. Cytokine profiling, cell phenotyping, bioluminescence imaging and histopathological evaluation were also performed.
Local injection of SCW caused a rapid onset of inflammation and pain in the injected ankle which resolved within 4 days (Flare 1). Intravenous injection 20 days after sensitization resulted in an increase in ankle diameter and pain, which partially resolved in 8 days (Flare 2). The subsequent intra-venous injection in the same animals 14 days after resulted in a more chronic disease with inflammation and pain persisting over a period of 10 days (Flare 3). In Flare 2, therapeutic administration of Dexamethasone inhibited paw swelling (95%; P<0.001) and pain (55%; P<0.05). Therapeutic administration of Buprenorphine inhibited pain (80%; P<0.001) without affecting paw swelling (0%). Prophylactic administration of Etanercept in Flare 2 inhibited paw swelling (≥60%; P<0.001) and pain by ≥30%. Expression of IL-1β, IL-6, MCP-1 and CINC was reduced by >50% (P<0.001). Treatment with Etanercept in Flare 3 inhibited paw swelling by 60% (P<0.001) and pain by 25%. Prior treatment with Etanercept in Flare 2 followed by re-administration in Flare 3 led to a complete loss in the efficacy of Etanercept. Systemic exposure of Etanercept corroborated with lack of efficacy. Dexamethasone inhibited inflammation and pain in both Flares 2 and 3 (P<0.001).
We established a novel multi-flare SCW arthritis model enabling drug intervention in different stages of disease. We show for the first time the evaluation of inflammation and pain simultaneously in this model. Etanercept and Dexamethasone inhibited inflammation, pain and proinflammatory cytokines in this model. Taken together, this model facilitates the assessment of anti-rheumatic agents targeting inflammation and pain in the multiple flare paradigm and offers a powerful tool for drug discovery.
PMCID: PMC4320526  PMID: 25477192
Rheumatoid arthritis; Animal models; Inflammation; Pain; von-Frey; SCW; TNF; Anti-TNF; Etanercept; Cytokines; Immunogenicity

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