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1.  The effects of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on matrix metalloproteinase and prostaglandin E2 production by cells of the rheumatoid lesion 
Arthritis Research  1999;1(1):63-70.
The biologically active metabolite of vitamin D3, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3], acts through vitamin D receptors, which were found in rheumatoid tissues in the present study. IL-1β-activated rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts and human articular chondrocytes were shown to respond differently to exposure to 1α,25(OH)2D3, which has different effects on the regulatory pathways of specific matrix metalloproteinases and prostaglandin E2.
Introduction:
1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3], the biologically active metabolite of vitamin D3, acts through an intracellular vitamin D receptor (VDR) and has several immunostimulatory effects. Animal studies have shown that production of some matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) may be upregulated in rat chondrocytes by administration of 1α,25(OH)2D3; and cell cultures have suggested that 1α,25(OH)2D3 may affect chondrocytic function. Discoordinate regulation by vitamin D of MMP-1 and MMP-9 in human mononuclear phagocytes has also been reported. These data suggest that vitamin D may regulate MMP expression in tissues where VDRs are expressed. Production of 1α,25(OH)2D3 within synovial fluids of arthritic joints has been shown and VDRs have been found in rheumatoid synovial tissues and at sites of cartilage erosion. The physiological function of 1α,25(OH)2D3 at these sites remains obscure. MMPs play a major role in cartilage breakdown in the rheumatoid joint and are produced locally by several cell types under strict control by regulatory factors. As 1α,25(OH)2D3 modulates the production of specific MMPs and is produced within the rheumatoid joint, the present study investigates its effects on MMP and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production in two cell types known to express chondrolytic enzymes.
Aims:
To investigate VDR expression in rheumatoid tissues and to examine the effects of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on cultured rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts (RSFs) and human articular chondrocytes (HACs) with respect to MMP and PGE2 production.
Methods:
Rheumatoid synovial tissues were obtained from arthroplasty procedures on patients with late-stage rheumatoid arthritis; normal articular cartilage was obtained from lower limb amputations. Samples were embedded in paraffin, and examined for presence of VDRs by immunolocalisation using a biotinylated antibody and alkaline-phosphatase-conjugated avidin-biotin complex system. Cultured synovial fibroblasts and chondrocytes were treated with either 1α,25(OH)2D3, or interleukin (IL)-1β or both. Conditioned medium was assayed for MMP and PGE2 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and the results were normalised relative to control values.
Results:
The rheumatoid synovial tissue specimens (n = 18) immunostained for VDRs showed positive staining but at variable distributions and in no observable pattern. VDR-positive cells were also observed in association with some cartilage-pannus junctions (the rheumatoid lesion). MMP production by RSFs in monolayer culture was not affected by treatment with 1α,25(OH)2D3 alone, but when added simultaneously with IL-1β the stimulation by IL-1β was reduced from expected levels by up to 50%. In contrast, 1α,25(OH)2D3 had a slight stimulatory effect on basal production of MMPs 1 and 3 by monolayer cultures of HACs, but stimulation of MMP-1 by IL-1β was not affected by the simultaneous addition of 1α,25(OH)2D3 whilst MMP-3 production was enhanced (Table 1). The production of PGE2 by RSFs was unaffected by 1α,25(OH)2D3 addition, but when added concomitantly with IL-1β the expected IL-1 β-stimulated increase was reduced to almost basal levels. In contrast, IL-1β stimulation of PGE2 in HACs was not affected by the simultaneous addition of 1α,25(OH)2D3 (Table 2). Pretreatment of RSFs with 1α,25(OH)2D3 for 1 h made no significant difference to IL-1β-induced stimulation of PGE2, but incubation for 16 h suppressed the expected increase in PGE2 to control values. This effect was also noted when 1α,25(OH)2D3 was removed after the 16h and the IL-1 added alone. Thus it appears that 1α,25(OH)2D3 does not interfere with the IL-1β receptor, but reduces the capacity of RSFs to elaborate PGE2 after IL-1β induction.
Discussion:
Cells within the rheumatoid lesion which expressed VDR were fibroblasts, macrophages, lymphocytes and endothelial cells. These cells are thought to be involved in the degradative processes associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), thus providing evidence of a functional role of 1α,25(OH)2D3 in RA. MMPs may play important roles in the chondrolytic processes of the rheumatoid lesion and are known to be produced by both fibroblasts and chondrocytes. The 1α,25(OH)2D3 had little effect on basal MMP production by RSFs, although more pronounced differences were noted when IL-1β-stimulated cells were treated with 1α,25(OH)2D3, with the RSF and HAC showing quite disparate responses. These opposite effects may be relevant to the processes of joint destruction, especially cartilage loss, as the ability of 1α,25(OH)2D3 to potentiate MMP-1 and MMP-3 expression by 'activated' chondrocytes might facilitate intrinsic cartilage chondrolysis in vivo. By contrast, the MMP-suppressive effects observed for 1α,25(OH)2D3 treatment of 'activated' synovial fibroblasts might reduce extrinsic chondrolysis and also matrix degradation within the synovial tissue. Prostaglandins have a role in the immune response and inflammatory processes associated with RA. The 1α,25(OH)2D3 had little effect on basal PGE2 production by RSF, but the enhanced PGE2 production observed following IL-1β stimulation of these cells was markedly suppressed by the concomitant addition of 1α,25(OH)2D3. As with MMP production, there are disparate effects of 1α,25(OH)2D3 on IL-1β stimulated PGE2 production by the two cell types; 1α,25(OH)2D3 added concomitantly with IL-1β had no effect on PGE2 production by HACs. In summary, the presence of VDRs in the rheumatoid lesion demonstrates that 1α,25(OH)2D3 may have a functional role in the joint disease process. 1α,25(OH)2D3 does not appear to directly affect MMP or PGE2 production but does modulate cytokine-induced production.
Comparative effects of 1 α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1 α,25D3) on interleukin (IL)-1-stimulated matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-3 production by rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts and human articular chondrocytes in vivo
Data given are normalized relative to control values and are expressed ± SEM for three cultures of each cell type.
Comparative effects of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α,25D3) on Interleukin (IL)-1-stimulated prostaglandin E2 production by rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts and human articular chondrocyte in vivo
Data given are normalized relative to control values and are expressed ± SEM for three cultures of each cell type.
PMCID: PMC17774  PMID: 11056661
1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3; matrix metalloproteinase; prostaglandin E2; rheumatoid arthritis
2.  Active synovial matrix metalloproteinase-2 is associated with radiographic erosions in patients with early synovitis 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(2):145-153.
Serum and synovial tissue expression of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 and their molecular regulators, MMP-14 and TIMP-2 was examined in 28 patients with inflammatory early synovitis and 4 healthy volunteers and correlated with the presence of erosions in the patients. Immunohistological staining of MMP-2, MMP-14 and TIMP-2 localized to corresponding areas in the synovial lining layer and was almost absent in normal synovium. Patients with radiographic erosions had significantly higher levels of active MMP-2 than patients with no erosions, suggesting that activated MMP-2 levels in synovial tissue may be a marker for a more aggressive synovial lesion.
Introduction:
In cancer the gelatinases [matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9] have been shown to be associated with tissue invasion and metastatic disease. In patients with inflammatory arthritis the gelatinases are expressed in the synovial membrane, and have been implicated in synovial tissue invasion into adjacent cartilage and bone. It is hypothesized that an imbalance between the activators and inhibitors of the gelatinases results in higher levels of activity, enhanced local proteolysis, and bone erosion.
Objectives:
To determine whether the expression and activity levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and their regulators MMP-14 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP), are associated with early erosion formation in patients with synovitis of recent onset.
Patients and method:
A subset of 66 patients was selected from a larger early synovitis cohort on the basis of tissue availability for the study of synovial tissue and serum gelatinase expression. Patients with peripheral joint synovitis of less than 1 years' duration were evaluated clinically and serologically on four visits over a period of 12 months. At the initial visit, patients underwent a synovial tissue biopsy of one swollen joint, and patients had radiographic evaluation of hands and feet initially and at 1year. Serum MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-14, and TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 levels were determined, and synovial tissue was examined by immunohistology for the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9, and their molecular regulators. Gelatinolytic activity for MMP-2 and MMP-9 was quantified using a sensitive, tissue-based gel zymography technique. Four healthy individuals underwent closed synovial biopsy and their synovial tissues were similarly analyzed.
Results:
Of the 66 patients studied, 45 fulfilled American College of Rheumatology criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with 32 (71%) being rheumatoid factor positive. Of the 21 non-RA patients, seven had a spondylarthropathy and 14 had undifferentiated arthritis. Radiographically, 12 of the RA patients had erosions at multiple sites by 1 year, whereas none of the non-RA patients had developed erosive disease of this extent. In the tissue, latent MMP-2 was widely expressed in the synovial lining layer and in areas of stromal proliferation in the sublining layer and stroma, whereas MMP-9 was expressed more sparsely and focally. MMP-14, TIMP-2, and MMP-2 were all detected in similar areas of the lining layer on consecutive histologic sections. Tissue expression of MMP-14, the activator for pro-MMP-2, was significantly higher in RA than in non-RA patients (8.4 ± 5 versus 3.7 ± 4 cells/high-power field; P = 0.009). In contrast, the expression of TIMP-2, an inhibitor of MMP-2, was lower in the RA than in the non-RA samples (25 ± 12 versus 39 ± 9 cells/high-power field; P = 0.01). Synovial tissue expressions of MMP-2, MMP-14, and TIMP-2 were virtually undetectable in normal synovial tissue samples. The synovial tissue samples of patients with erosive disease had significantly higher levels of active MMP-2 than did those of patients without erosions (Fig. 1). Tissue expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9, however, did not correlate with the serum levels of these enzymes.
With the exception of serum MMP-2, which was not elevated over normal, serum levels of all of the other MMPs and TIMPs were elevated to varying degrees, and were not predictive of erosive disease. Interestingly, MMP-1 and C-reactive protein, both of which were associated with the presence of erosions, were positively correlated with each other (r = 0.42; P < 0.001).
Discussion:
MMP-2 and MMP-9 are thought to play an important role in the evolution of joint erosions in patients with an inflammatory arthritis. Most studies have concentrated on the contribution of MMP-9 to the synovitis, because synovial fluid and serum MMP-9 levels are markedly increased in inflammatory arthropathies. Previously reported serum levels of MMP-9 have varied widely. In the present sample of patients with synovitis of recent onset, serum MMP-9 levels were elevated in only 21%. Moreover, these elevations were not specific for RA, the tissue expression of MMP-9 was focal, and the levels of MMP-9 activity were not well correlated with early erosions. Although serum MMP-2 levels were not of prognostic value, high synovial tissue levels of MMP-2 activity were significantly correlated with the presence of early erosions. This may reflect augmented activation of MMP-2 by the relatively high levels of MMP-14 and low levels of TIMP-2 seen in these tissues. We were able to localize the components of this trimolecular complex to the synovial lining layer in consecutive tissue sections, a finding that is consistent with their colocalization.
In conclusion, we have provided evidence that active MMP-2 complexes are detectable in the inflamed RA synovium and may be involved in the development of early bony erosions. These results suggest that strategies to inhibit the activation of MMP-2 may have the potential for retarding or preventing early erosions in patients with inflammatory arthritis.
PMCID: PMC17808  PMID: 11062605
early synovitis; erosion; metalloproteinase; matrix metalloproteinase-2; rheumatoid arthritis
3.  Matrix metalloproteinase protein expression profiles cannot distinguish between normal and early osteoarthritic synovial fluid 
Background
Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are diseases which result in the degeneration of the joint surface articular cartilage. Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes that aid in the natural remodelling of tissues throughout the body including cartilage. However, some MMPs have been implicated in the progression of OA and RA as their expression levels and activation states can change dramatically with the onset of disease. Yet, it remains unknown if normal and arthritic joints demonstrate unique MMPs expression profiles, and if so, can the MMP expression profile be used to identify patients with early OA. In this study, the synovial fluid protein expression levels for MMPs 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 12 & 13, as well as those for the Tissue Inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) 1, 2, 3, & 4 were examined in highly characterized normal knee joints, and knee joints with clinically diagnosed OA (early and advanced) or RA. The purpose of this study was to determine if normal, OA, and RA patients exhibit unique expression profiles for a sub-set of MMPs, and if early OA patients have a unique MMP expression profile that could be used as an early diagnostic marker.
Methods
Synovial fluid was aspirated from stringently characterized normal knee joints, and in joints diagnosed with either OA (early and advanced) or RA. Multiplexing technology was employed to quantify protein expression levels for 8 MMPs and 4 TIMPs in the synovial fluid of 12 patients with early OA, 17 patients diagnosed with advanced OA, 15 with RA and 25 normal knee joints. Principle component analysis (PCA) was used to reveal which MMPs were most influential in the distinction between treatment groups. K – means clustering was used to verify the visual grouping of subjects via PCA.
Results
Significant differences in the expression levels of MMPs and TIMPs were observed between normal and arthritic synovial fluids (with the exception of MMP 12). PCA demonstrated that MMPs 2, 8 & 9 can be used to effectively separate individuals diagnosed with advanced arthritis from early osteoarthritic and normal individuals, however, these MMP profiles do not separate early OA from normal synovial fluid. An apparent separation between advanced OA and RA subjects was also revealed through PCA. K-means clustering verified the presence of 3 clusters: normal joints clustered with early OA, and separate clusters of advanced OA or RA.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that unique MMP and TIMP expression profiles are present within normal, advanced OA and RA synovial fluid. These MMP profiles can be used to distinguish advanced OA & RA synovial fluid from early OA & normal synovial fluid, and even between synovial fluid samples from OA and RA joints. Although this methodology cannot be used for the diagnosis of early OA, high throughput multiplex technology of MMPs and TIMPs in synovial fluid may prove useful in determining the severity of the disease state, and/or quantifying the response of individuals to disease interventions.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-126
PMCID: PMC3532375  PMID: 22824140
4.  Matrix metalloproteinase-3 inhibitor retards treadmill running-induced cartilage degradation in rats 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2011;13(6):R192.
Introduction
The effect of intra-articular injection of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 inhibitor was investigated in a rat model to understand the role of MMP-3 in cartilage degradation induced by excessive loading from running.
Methods
A total of 24 male Wistar rats were randomly assigned into groups of sedentary control (SED), high-intensity running (HIR), HIR + low dosage of MMP-3 Inhibitor I (HIRI1), and HIR + high dosage of MMP-3 Inhibitor I (HIRI2). Rats in the HIR, HIRI1 and HIRI2 groups were intensively trained for six weeks on the treadmill. Those in HIRI1 and HIRI2 groups were provided bilateral intra-articular injections of 80 μL of 0.2 mM and 2 mM MMP-3 Inhibitor I in knee joints once a week, respectively. Blood samples were collected to measure serum MMP-3 level using ELISA. Femoral condyles were collected to observe cartilage characteristics by histochemistry, and MMP-3 as well as collagen II was measured by immunohistochemistry. In addition, cartilage samples were obtained to assess MMP-3 mRNA expression by RT-PCR.
Results
Histological examination showed osteoarthritic changes in rats after six weeks of high intensity running. In comparison to the SED group, significant decreases in glycosaminoglycans (GAG) and collagen content were found in the HIR group, which corresponded to significant increase in serum MMP-3 level, cartilage MMP-3 activity and gene expression. However, such a degradative process was considerably retarded by intra-articular injection of MMP-3 inhibitor at higher dosage. Statistical differences were found between the HIR and HIRI2 groups with regard to GAG and collagen II content, serum MMP-3 level, cartilage MMP-3 activity and gene expression.
Conclusions
High-intensity running for six weeks may lead to cartilage degradation in a rat model. It was shown that the chrondroprotective effect was offered by the use of intra-articular injection of MMP-3 inhibitor. MMP-3 acts as the key mediator of this catabolic change under such mechanical condition. The results also showed that MMP-3 selective inhibitor may be an effective option for retarding such osteoarthritic changes.
doi:10.1186/ar3521
PMCID: PMC3334642  PMID: 22114772
running exercise; MMP-3; cartilage; osteoarthritis; inhibitor
5.  Matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases in synovial fluids from patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2000;59(6):455-461.
OBJECTIVE—Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are expressed in joint tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). The objective of this study was to define the steady state levels of seven different MMPs and two tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) as well as the potential metalloproteinase activity in the synovial fluid (SF) to provide more insight into the role of MMPs in cartilage destruction in RA and OA.
METHODS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, MMP-13, TIMP-1, and TIMP-2 in SF aspirated from knee joints of 97 patients with RA and 103 patients with OA were measured by the corresponding one step sandwich enzyme immunoassays. Proteolytic activity of MMPs in these SFs was examined in an assay using [3H]carboxymethylated transferrin substrate in the presence of inhibitors of serine and cysteine proteinases after activation with p-aminophenylmercuric acetate (APMA). Destruction of RA knee joints was radiographically evaluated.
RESULTS—Levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, and MMP-9 were significantly higher in RA SF than in OA SF. MMP-7 and MMP-13 were detectable in more than 45% of RA SFs and in less than 20% of OA SFs, respectively. Among the MMPs examined, MMP-3 levels were extremely high compared with those of other MMPs. Direct correlations were seen between the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 and between those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 in RA SF. Although the levels of MMP-1 and MMP-3 increased even in the early stage of RA, those of MMP-8 and MMP-9 were low in the early stage and increased with the progression of RA. Molar ratios of the total amounts of the MMPs to those of the TIMPs were 5.2-fold higher in patients with RA than in OA, which was significant. APMA-activated metalloproteinase activity in SF showed a similar result, and a direct correlation was seen between the molar ratios and the activity in RA SF.
CONCLUSIONS—Our results show that high levels of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-8, MMP-9, and TIMP-1 are present in RA SF and suggest that once these MMPs are fully activated, they have an imbalance against TIMPs, which may contribute to the cartilage destruction in RA.


doi:10.1136/ard.59.6.455
PMCID: PMC1753174  PMID: 10834863
6.  1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 Activates MMP13 Gene Expression in Chondrocytes through p38 MARK Pathway 
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent degenerative joint disease. The highly regulated balance of matrix synthesis and degradation is disrupted in OA, leading to progressive breakdown of articular cartilage. The molecular events and pathways involved in chondrocyte disfunction of cartilage in OA are not fully understood. It is known that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D₃ (1,25-(OH)2D3) is synthesized by macrophages derived from synovial fluid of patients with inflammatory arthritis. Vitmain D receptor is expressed in chondrocytes within osteoarthritic cartilage, suggesting a contributory role of 1,25-(OH)2D3 in the aberrant behavior of chondrocytes in OA. However, the physiological function of 1,25-(OH)2D3 on chondrocytes in OA remains obscure. Effect of 1,25-(OH)2D3 on gene expression in chondrocytes was investigated in this study. We found that 1,25-(OH)2D3 activated MMP13 expression in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner, a major enzyme that targets cartilage for degradation. Interestingly, a specific mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 inhibitor SB203580, but not JNK kinase inhibitor SP600125, abrogated 1,25-(OH)2D3 activation of MMP13 expression. 1,25-(OH)2D3-induced increase in MMP13 protein level was in parallel with the phosphorylation of p38 in chondrocytes. To further address the effect of 1,25-(OH)2D3 on MMP13 expression, transfection assays were used to show that 1,25-(OH)2D3 activated the MMP13 promoter reporter expression. MMP13 is known to target type II collagen and aggrecan for degradation, two major components of cartilage matrix. We observed that the treatment of 1,25-(OH)2D3 in chondrocytes results in downregulation of both type II collagen and aggrecan while MMP13 was upregulated. Taken together, we provide the first evidence to demonstrate that 1,25-(OH)2D3 activates MMP13 expression through p38 pathway in chondrocytes. Since MMP13 plays a major role in cartilage degradation in OA, we speculate that the ability of 1,25-(OH)2D3 to potentiate MMP13 expression might facilitate cartilage erosion at the site of inflammatory arthritis.
doi:10.7150/ijbs.6726
PMCID: PMC3708044  PMID: 23847446
1,25-(OH)2D3; MMP13; Osteoarthritis; p38; Gene expression; Chondrocyte.
7.  Matrix metalloproteinase activity in equine synovial fluid: influence of age, osteoarthritis, and osteochondrosis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1998;57(11):697-699.
OBJECTIVE—To investigate the influence of age, osteoarthritis (OA), and osteochondrosis (OC) on the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in the synovial fluid (SF) of equine joints.
METHODS—SF was collected from normal and osteoarthritic metacarpophalangeal joints (normal: 14 adult, 28 juvenile; OA: 22 adult). And from normal and osteochondrotic tarsocrural joints (5 months: 11 normal, 8 OC; 11 months: 7 normal, 6 OC). Subsequently, overall MMP activity was measured.
RESULTS—The level of active MMPs was almost twofold higher in SF from juvenile horses (age up to 11 months) than in SF from mature animals (4-30 years; p<0.001). In juvenile horses MMP activity was higher in 5 month old foals than in 11 month old foals (p<0.01). In adult horses MMP activity was independent of age. In OA joints the activity was nearly twice as high as in normal joints (p<0.001). In OC joints MMP activity was not significantly different from normal, age matched, control joints.
CONCLUSIONS—MMP activity in SF from normal adult joints is not related to age. In juvenile joints MMP activity is significantly higher than activity in joints from adult animals. It is hypothesised that the gradual decrease in MMP activity with increasing age reflects the declining metabolic activity resulting from ceasing growth and the accompanying decrease in cartilage remodelling. The increased MMP activity in osteoarthritic joints most likely reflects matrix destruction. In osteochondrosis MMP mediated matrix degradation appears not to be different from normal joints.

 Keywords: horse; synovial fluid; matrix metalloproteinases; age
PMCID: PMC1752503  PMID: 9924215
8.  Induction of Host Matrix Metalloproteinases by Borrelia burgdorferi Differs in Human and Murine Lyme Arthritis  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(1):126-134.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are induced from host tissues in response to Borrelia burgdorferi. Upregulation of MMPs may play a role in the dissemination of the organism through extracellular matrix tissues, but it can also result in destructive pathology. Although mice are a well-accepted model for Lyme arthritis, there are significant differences compared to human disease. We sought to determine whether MMP expression could account for some of these differences. MMP expression patterns following B. burgdorferi infection were analyzed in primary human chondrocytes, synovial fluid samples from patients with Lyme arthritis, and cartilage tissue from Lyme arthritis-susceptible and -resistant mice by using a gene array, real-time PCR, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and immunohistochemistry. B. burgdorferi infection significantly induced transcription of MMP-1, -3, -13, and -19 from primary human chondrocyte cells. Transcription of MMP-10 and tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease 1 was increased with B. burgdorferi infection, but protein expression was only minimally increased. The synovial fluid levels of MMPs from patients with high and low spirochete burdens were consistent with results seen in the in vitro studies. B. burgdorferi-susceptible C3H/HeN mice infected with B. burgdorferi showed induction of MMP-3 and MMP-19 but no other MMP or tissue inhibitor of metalloprotease. As determined by immunohistochemistry, MMP-3 expression was increased only in chondrocytes near the articular surface. The levels of MMPs were significantly lower in the more Lyme arthritis-resistant BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Differences between human and murine Lyme arthritis may be related to the lack of induction of collagenases, such MMP-1 and MMP-13, in mouse joints.
doi:10.1128/IAI.73.1.126-134.2005
PMCID: PMC539001  PMID: 15618147
9.  Induction of multiple matrix metalloproteinases in human dermal and synovial fibroblasts by Staphylococcus aureus: implications in the pathogenesis of septic arthritis and other soft tissue infections 
Infections of body tissue by Staphylococcus aureus are quickly followed by degradation of connective tissue. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are more prone to S. aureus-mediated septic arthritis. Various types of collagen form the major structural matrix of different connective tissues of the body. These different collagens are degraded by specific matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) produced by fibroblasts, other connective tissue cells, and inflammatory cells that are induced by interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). To determine the host's contribution in the joint destruction of S. aureus-mediated septic arthritis, we analyzed the MMP expression profile in human dermal and synovial fibroblasts upon exposure to culture supernatant and whole cell lysates of S. aureus. Human dermal and synovial fibroblasts treated with cell lysate and filtered culture supernatants had significantly enhanced expression of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-7, MMP-10, and MMP-11 compared with the untreated controls (p < 0.05). In the S. aureus culture supernatant, the MMP induction activity was identified to be within the molecular-weight range of 30 to >50 kDa. The MMP expression profile was similar in fibroblasts exposed to a combination of IL-1/TNF. mRNA levels of several genes of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal transduction pathway were significantly elevated in fibroblasts treated with S. aureus cell lysate and culture supernatant. Also, tyrosine phosphorylation was significantly higher in fibroblasts treated with S. aureus components. Tyrosine phosphorylation and MAPK gene expression patterns were similar in fibroblasts treated with a combination of IL-1/TNF and S. aureus. Mutants lacking staphylococcal accessory regulator (Sar) and accessory gene regulator (Agr), which cause significantly less severe septic arthritis in murine models, were able to induce expression of several MMP mRNA comparable with that of their isogenic parent strain but induced notably higher levels of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). To our knowledge, this is the first report of induction of multiple MMP/TIMP expression from human dermal and synovial fibroblasts upon S. aureus treatment. We propose that host-derived MMPs contribute to the progressive joint destruction observed in S. aureus-mediated septic arthritis.
doi:10.1186/ar2086
PMCID: PMC1794521  PMID: 17129374
10.  Tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) positive cells in rheumatoid synovium may induce the destruction of articular cartilage 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2003;62(3):196-203.
Objective: To examine the role of tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) positive mononuclear and multinucleated cells in the destruction of articular cartilage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: The presence of TRAP positive cells in the synovial tissue of patients with RA was examined by enzyme histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. Expression of mRNAs for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) was assessed by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and northern blot analysis. Production of MMPs by mononuclear and multinucleated TRAP positive cells was examined by immunocytochemistry, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of conditioned medium, and immunohistochemistry of human RA synovial tissue. In addition, a cartilage degradation assay was performed by incubation of 35S prelabelled cartilage discs with TRAP positive cells.
Results: TRAP positive mononuclear cells and multinucleated cells were found in proliferating synovial tissue adjacent to the bone-cartilage interface in patients with RA. Expression of MMP-2 (gelatinase A), MMP-9 (gelatinase B), MMP-12 (macrophage metalloelastase), and MMP-14 (MT1-MMP) mRNA was detected in TRAP positive mononuclear and multinucleated cells by both RT-PCR and northern blot analysis. Immunocytochemistry for these MMPs showed that MMP-2 and MMP-9 were produced by both TRAP positive mononuclear and multinucleated cells, whereas MMP-12 and MMP-14 were produced by TRAP positive multinucleated cells. MMP-2 and MMP-9 were detected in the conditioned medium of TRAP positive mononuclear cells. TRAP positive mononuclear cells also induced the release of 35S from prelabelled cartilage discs.
Conclusion: This study suggests that TRAP positive mononuclear and multinucleated cells located in the synovium at the cartilage-synovial interface produce MMP-2 and MMP-9, and may have an important role in articular cartilage destruction in patients with RA.
doi:10.1136/ard.62.3.196
PMCID: PMC1754448  PMID: 12594102
11.  CD147 overexpression on synoviocytes in rheumatoid arthritis enhances matrix metalloproteinase production and invasiveness of synoviocytes 
Macrophage-like synoviocytes and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) are known as the most active cells of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and are close to the articular cartilage in a position enabling them to invade the cartilage. Macrophage-like synoviocytes and FLS expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their interaction has aroused great interest. The present article studied the expression of CD147, also called extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer, on monocytes/macrophages and FLS from RA patients and its potential role in enhancing MMPs and the invasiveness of synoviocytes. Expression of CD147 on FLS derived from RA patients and from osteoarthritis patients, and expression of CD147 on monocytes/macrophages from rheumatic synovial fluid and healthy peripheral blood were analyzed by flow cytometry. The levels of CD147, MMP-2 and MMP-9 mRNA in FLS were detected by RT-PCR. The role of CD147 in MMP production and the cells' invasiveness in vitro were studied by the co-culture of FLS with the human THP-1 cell line or monocytes/macrophages, by gel zymography and by invasion assay. The results showed that the expression of CD147 was higher on RA FLS than on osteoarthritis FLS and was higher on monocytes/macrophages from rheumatic synovial fluid than on monocytes/macrophages from healthy peripheral blood. RT-PCR showed that the expressions of CD147, MMP-2 and MMP-9 mRNA was higher in RA FLS than in osteoarthritis FLS. A significantly elevated secretion and activation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were observed in RA FLS co-cultured with differentiated THP-1 cells or RA synovial monocytes/macrophages, compared with those co-cultured with undifferentiated THP-1 cells or healthy control peripheral blood monocytes. Invasion assays showed an increased number of invading cells in the co-cultured RA FLS with differentiated THP-1 cells or RA synovial monocytes/macrophages. CD147 antagonistic peptide inhibited the MMP production and the invasive potential. Our studies demonstrated that the CD147 overexpression on monocytes/macrophages and FLS in RA patients may be responsible for the enhanced MMP secretion and activation and for the invasiveness of synoviocytes. These findings suggest that CD147 may be one of the important factors in progressive joint destruction of RA and that CD147 may be a potential therapeutic target in RA treatment.
doi:10.1186/ar1899
PMCID: PMC1526600  PMID: 16507143
12.  Differential expression patterns of matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors during development of osteoarthritis in a transgenic mouse model 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2002;61(7):591-597.
Objective: To characterise the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) during degeneration of articular cartilage in a transgenic Del1 mouse model for osteoarthritis.
Methods: Northern analysis was used to measure mRNA levels of MMP-2, -3, -8, -9, -13, and -14, and TIMP-1, -2, and -3 in total RNA extracted from knee joints of transgenic Del1 mice, harbouring a 15 amino acid deletion in the triple helical domain of the α1(II) collagen chain, using their non-transgenic littermates as controls. Immunohistochemistry was used to study the presence of cleavage products (neoepitopes) of type II collagen, and the distribution of MMP-13 and TIMP-1 in degenerating cartilage.
Results: Each of the MMP and TIMP mRNAs analysed exhibited distinct expression patterns during development and osteoarthritic degeneration of the knee joint. The most striking change was up regulation of MMP-13 mRNA expression in the knee joints of Del1 mice at the onset of cartilage degeneration. However, the strongest immunostaining for MMP-13 and its inhibitor TIMP-1 was not seen in the degenerating articular cartilage but in synovial tissue, deep calcified cartilage, and subchondral bone. The localisation of type II collagen neoepitopes in chondrocytes and their pericellular matrix followed a similar pattern; they were not seen in cartilage fibrillations, but in adjacent unaffected cartilage.
Conclusion: The primary localisation of MMP-13 and TIMP-1 in hyperplastic synovial tissue, subchondral bone, and calcified cartilage suggests that up regulation of MMP-13 expression during early degeneration of articular cartilage is a secondary response to cartilage erosion. This interpretation is supported by the distribution of type II collagen neoepitopes. Synovial production of MMP-13 may be related to removal of tissue debris released from articular cartilage. In the deep calcified cartilage and adjacent subchondral bone, MMP-13 probably participates in tissue remodelling.
doi:10.1136/ard.61.7.591
PMCID: PMC1754156  PMID: 12079898
13.  Macrophage migration inhibitory factor: a mediator of matrix metalloproteinase-2 production in rheumatoid arthritis 
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by destruction of bone and cartilage, which is mediated, in part, by synovial fibroblasts. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a large family of proteolytic enzymes responsible for matrix degradation. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a cytokine that induces the production of a large number of proinflammatory molecules and has an important role in the pathogenesis of RA by promoting inflammation and angiogenesis.
In the present study, we determined the role of MIF in RA synovial fibroblast MMP production and the underlying signaling mechanisms. We found that MIF induces RA synovial fibroblast MMP-2 expression in a time-dependent and concentration-dependent manner. To elucidate the role of MIF in MMP-2 production, we produced zymosan-induced arthritis (ZIA) in MIF gene-deficient and wild-type mice. We found that MMP-2 protein levels were significantly decreased in MIF gene-deficient compared with wild-type mice joint homogenates. The expression of MMP-2 in ZIA was evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC). IHC revealed that MMP-2 is highly expressed in wild-type compared with MIF gene-deficient mice ZIA joints. Interestingly, synovial lining cells, endothelial cells, and sublining nonlymphoid mononuclear cells expressed MMP-2 in the ZIA synovium. Consistent with these results, in methylated BSA (mBSA) antigen-induced arthritis (AIA), a model of RA, enhanced MMP-2 expression was also observed in wild-type compared with MIF gene-deficient mice joints. To elucidate the signaling mechanisms in MIF-induced MMP-2 upregulation, RA synovial fibroblasts were stimulated with MIF in the presence of signaling inhibitors. We found that MIF-induced RA synovial fibroblast MMP-2 upregulation required the protein kinase C (PKC), c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and Src signaling pathways. We studied the expression of MMP-2 in the presence of PKC isoform-specific inhibitors and found that the PKCδ inhibitor rottlerin inhibits MIF-induced RA synovial fibroblast MMP-2 production. Consistent with these results, MIF induced phosphorylation of JNK, PKCδ, and c-jun. These results indicate a potential novel role for MIF in tissue destruction in RA.
doi:10.1186/ar2021
PMCID: PMC1779381  PMID: 16872482
14.  MT1-MMP is a crucial promotor of synovial invasion in human rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2009;60(3):686.
Objective
A hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is invasion of the synovial pannus into cartilage and this step requires degradation of the collagen matrix. The aim of this study was to explore the role of one of the collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), membrane-type 1 MMP (MT1-MMP), in synovial pannus invasiveness.
Methods
Expression and localization of MT1-MMP in human RA pannus were investigated by Western blot analysis of primary synovial cells and immunohistochemistry of RA joints specimens. The functional role of MT1-MMP was analyzed by 3D collagen invasion assays and a cartilage invasion assay in the presence or absence of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1, TIMP-2, or GM6001. The effect of adenoviral expression of a dominant negative MT1-MMP construct lacking a catalytic domain was also examined.
Results
MT1-MMP was highly expressed at the pannus-cartilage junction of RA joints. Freshly isolated rheumatoid synovial tissues and isolated RA synovial fibroblasts invaded into a 3D collagen matrix in an MT1-MMP-dependent manner. Invasion was blocked by TIMP-2 and GM6001, but not by TIMP-1. It was also inhibited by the over-expression of a dominant negative MT1-MMP which inhibits collagenolytic activity and proMMP-2 activation by MT1-MMP on the cell surface. Synovial fibroblasts also invaded into cartilage in an MT1-MMP-dependent manner. This process was further enhanced by removing aggrecan from the cartilage matrix.
Conclusion
MT1-MMP is an essential collagen-degrading proteinase during pannus invasion in human RA. Specific inhibition of MT1-MMP-dependent invasion may form a novel therapeutic strategy for RA.
doi:10.1002/art.24331
PMCID: PMC2819053  PMID: 19248098
MT1-MMP; synovial pannus; rheumatoid arthritis
15.  In vitro model for the analysis of synovial fibroblast-mediated degradation of intact cartilage 
Introduction
Activated synovial fibroblasts are thought to play a major role in the destruction of cartilage in chronic, inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, profound insight into the pathogenic mechanisms and the impact of synovial fibroblasts in the initial early stages of cartilage destruction is limited. Hence, the present study sought to establish a standardised in vitro model for early cartilage destruction with native, intact cartilage in order to analyse the matrix-degrading capacity of synovial fibroblasts and their influence on cartilage metabolism.
Methods
A standardised model was established by co-culturing bovine cartilage discs with early-passage human synovial fibroblasts for 14 days under continuous stimulation with TNF-α, IL-1β or a combination of TNF-α/IL-1β. To assess cartilage destruction, the co-cultures were analysed by histology, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and laser scanning microscopy. In addition, content and/or neosynthesis of the matrix molecules cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) and collagen II was quantified. Finally, gene and protein expression of matrix-degrading enzymes and pro-inflammatory cytokines were profiled in both synovial fibroblasts and cartilage.
Results
Histological and immunohistological analyses revealed that non-stimulated synovial fibroblasts are capable of demasking/degrading cartilage matrix components (proteoglycans, COMP, collagen) and stimulated synovial fibroblasts clearly augment chondrocyte-mediated, cytokine-induced cartilage destruction. Cytokine stimulation led to an upregulation of tissue-degrading enzymes (aggrecanases I/II, matrix-metalloproteinase (MMP) 1, MMP-3) and pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and IL-8) in both cartilage and synovial fibroblasts. In general, the activity of tissue-degrading enzymes was consistently higher in co-cultures with synovial fibroblasts than in cartilage monocultures. In addition, stimulated synovial fibroblasts suppressed the synthesis of collagen type II mRNA in cartilage.
Conclusions
The results demonstrate for the first time the capacity of synovial fibroblasts to degrade intact cartilage matrix by disturbing the homeostasis of cartilage via the production of catabolic enzymes/pro-inflammatory cytokines and suppression of anabolic matrix synthesis (i.e., collagen type II). This new in vitro model may closely reflect the complex process of early stage in vivo destruction in RA and help to elucidate the role of synovial fibroblasts and other synovial cells in this process, and the molecular mechanisms involved in cartilage degradation.
doi:10.1186/ar2618
PMCID: PMC2688258  PMID: 19226472
16.  Cytokine and catabolic enzyme expression in synovium, synovial fluid and articular cartilage of naturally osteoarthritic equine carpi 
Equine veterinary journal  2010;42(8):693-699.
Summary
Reasons for performing study
Biological treatments for osteoarthritis (OA) are an important component of disease control. Understanding the expression of catabolic and anabolic genes during osteoarthritis progression should help to identify the major mediators of the disease.
Objective
To compare the cytokine and anabolic marker concentrations in synovium, synovial fluid, and cartilage between normal and osteoarthritic joints.
Methods
Equine carpi from horses age 2–11 years were used. Tissues were harvested at the time of surgery or euthanasia, and RNA was isolated for RT-PCR analysis. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), aggrecanase 1 (ADAMTS-4), aggrecanase 2 (ADAMTS-5), matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13), interleukin 17 (IL-17), and collagen I alpha 1(Col-1) expression was determined in synovium. TNFα, IL-1β, ADAMTS-4, ADAMTS-5, MMP-13, IL-17, collagen IIB (Col-2B), and aggrecan expression was determined in cartilage. TNFα concentration in the synovial fluid was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results
Expression of TNFα, ADAMTS-5, and MMP-13 was significantly increased in synovial tissue from OA joints. Synovial membrane IL-1β abundance showed only moderate elevations in OA, without reaching significant levels. Cytokine expression was increased in OA cartilage samples, particularly for TNFα (p=0.0007), IL-1β (p<0.0001), ADAMTS-4 (p=0.0011), and MMP-13 (p<0.0001). Collagen type I expression was significantly increased in synovial tissues from OA groups. Collagen type II message was diminished in mild and moderate stages of OA, but rebounded to significant elevations in severely degenerate joints. Conversely, aggrecan levels significantly declined in all OA cartilage groups (p<0.001). Synovial fluid TNFα peptide concentration was significantly increased in severe OA cases (p=0.021).
Conclusion
TNFα was significantly increased in all degrees of equine OA, and was abundantly expressed in synovial membrane and cartilage. Similarly, IL-1β was overexpressed in OA cartilage, but not to a significant extent in synovium. ADAMTS-4 was more abundant in OA cartilage while ADAMTS-5 predominated in OA synovium. IL-17 expression was not observed in osteoarthritic equine synovium nor cartilage.
Potential relevance
Control of TNFα should be considered further as a target in the treatment of OA. ADAMTS-4 may be the primary aggrecanase causing cartilage breakdown in OA.
doi:10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00140.x
PMCID: PMC4183755  PMID: 21039798
horse; osteoarthritis; cytokine; TNFα; IL-1; cartilage; aggrecanase; MMP
17.  S100A8 and S100A9 in experimental osteoarthritis 
Introduction
The objective was to evaluate the changes in S100A8 S100A9, and their complex (S100A8/S100A9) in cartilage during the onset of osteoarthritis (OA) as opposed to inflammatory arthritis.
Methods
S100A8 and S100A9 protein localization were determined in antigen-induced inflammatory arthritis in mice, mouse femoral head cartilage explants stimulated with interleukin-1 (IL-1), and in surgically-induced OA in mice. Microarray expression profiling of all S100 proteins in cartilage was evaluated at different times after initiation of degradation in femoral head explant cultures stimulated with IL-1 and surgically-induced OA. The effect of S100A8, S100A9 or the complex on the expression of aggrecan (Acan), collagen II (Col2a1), disintegrin and metalloproteases with thrombospondin motifs (Adamts1, Adamts 4 &Adamts 5), matrix metalloproteases (Mmp1, Mmp3, Mmp13 &Mmp14) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (Timp1, Timp2 &Timp3), by primary adult ovine articular chondrocytes was determined using real time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).
Results
Stimulation with IL-1 increased chondrocyte S100a8 and S100a9 mRNA and protein levels. There was increased chondrocyte mRNA expression of S100a8 and S100a9 in early but not late mouse OA. However, loss of the S100A8 staining in chondrocytes occurred as mouse OA progressed, in contrast to the positive reactivity for both S100A8 and S100A9 in chondrocytes in inflammatory arthritis in mice. Homodimeric S100A8 and S100A9, but not the heterodimeric complex, significantly upregulated chondrocyte Adamts1, Adamts4 and Adamts 5, Mmp1, Mmp3 and Mmp13 gene expression, while collagen II and aggrecan mRNAs were significantly decreased.
Conclusions
Chondrocyte derived S100A8 and S100A9 may have a sustained role in cartilage degradation in inflammatory arthritis. In contrast, while these proteins may have a role in initiating early cartilage degradation in OA by upregulating MMPs and aggrecanases, their reduced expression in late stages of OA suggests they do not have an ongoing role in cartilage degradation in this non-inflammatory arthropathy.
doi:10.1186/ar2917
PMCID: PMC2875644  PMID: 20105291
18.  Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor Stimulates Matrix Metalloproteinase-13 via the Molecular Cross-talk between the Mitogen-activated Protein Kinases and Protein Kinase Cδ Pathways in Human Adult Articular Chondrocytes* 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2007;282(15):11110-11121.
Excessive release of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) during loading and/or injury of the cartilage matrix may contribute to the onset or progression of osteoarthritis. This pathological role may be related to the ability of bFGF to decrease proteoglycan synthesis and to antagonize the activity of anabolic growth factors in cartilage such as insulin-like growth factor-1 and bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7 or OP-1). Matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13), a catabolic cartilage-degrading enzyme, is dramatically up-regulated by inflammatory cytokines or by fibronectin fragments in articular chondrocytes. In this study, we investigated MMP-13 production by bFGF using human articular chondrocytes. Endogenous concentration of bFGF in synovial fluids collected from arthritis patients and asymptomatic subjects showed a good linear correlation with the endogenous levels of MMP-13. bFGF stimulation of MMP-13 was mediated at the transcriptional level and, at least in part, by stimulation of interleukin-1 production. Also, our findings suggest that bFGF stimulation of MMP-13 required the activation of multiple MAPKs (ERK, p38, and JNK) by bFGF, and more importantly, bFGF activation of protein kinase C (PKC) δ played a key role in the MMP-13 stimulation. Indeed, PKCδ is the only isoform associated with MMP-13 stimulation among the PKC isoforms tested. PKCδ controls the bFGF response by regulating multiple MAPK pathways. Our results suggest that PKCδ activation is a principal rate-limiting event in the bFGF-dependent stimulation of MMP-13 in human adult articular chondrocytes. We propose that deregulation of cross-talk between MAPK and PKCδ signaling may contribute to the etiology of osteoarthritis in human patients.
doi:10.1074/jbc.M609040200
PMCID: PMC2895271  PMID: 17311929
19.  Prospects for treating osteoarthritis: enzyme–protein interactions regulating matrix metalloproteinase activity 
Primary osteoarthritis (OA) is a musculoskeletal disorder of unknown etiology. OA is characterized by an imbalance between anabolism and catabolism in, and altered homeostasis of articular cartilage. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motif are upregulated in OA joints. Extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins are critical for resistance to compressive forces and for maintaining the tensile properties of the tissue. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) is the endogenous inhibitor of MMPs, but in OA, TIMPs do not effectively neutralize MMP activity. Upregulation of MMP gene expression occurs in OA in a milieu of proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor α. Presently, the medical therapy of OA includes mainly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids which dampen pain and inflammation but appear to have little effect on restoring joint function. Experimental interventions to restore the imbalance between anabolism and catabolism include small molecule inhibitors of MMP subtypes or inhibitors of the interaction between IL-1 and its receptor. Although these agents have some positive effects on reducing MMP subtype activity they have little efficacy at the clinical level. MMP-9 is one MMP subtype implicated in the degradation of articular cartilage ECM proteins. MMP-9 was found in OA synovial fluid as a complex with neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) which protected MMP-9 from autodegradation. Suppressing NGAL synthesis or promoting NGAL degradation may result in reducing the activity of MMP-9. We also propose initiating a search for enzyme–protein interactions to dampen other MMP subtype activity which could suppress ECM protein breakdown.
doi:10.1177/2040622312454157
PMCID: PMC3539270  PMID: 23342237
gelatinase; matrix metalloproteinase; neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin; osteoarthritis
20.  Determination of interstitial collagenase (MMP-1) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1995;54(12):970-975.
OBJECTIVES--To investigate whether interstitial collagenase (MMP-1) concentration in synovial fluid can be useful as a marker for disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), to determine the main route by which collagenase degrades the matrix of articular cartilage, and to investigate if an imbalance between metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP) is responsible for the activity of MMPs in RA. METHODS--Collagenase concentrations were measured in synovial fluid and paired serum samples using a specific sandwich enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Collagenase activities were also assayed in synovial fluid samples. Synovial tissues obtained from the same patient were examined by immunohistochemical staining and the numbers of cells expressing collagenase were counted. RESULTS--Collagenase concentrations in synovial fluid did not correlate with C reactive protein and collagenase levels in serum, but did correlate positively with the degree of synovial inflammation, and increased with increasing numbers of cells identified as expressing collagenase in synovial tissue. Collagenase activities did not correlate with TIMP-1 concentrations, but did correlate strongly with the ratios of collagenase concentration to TIMP-1 (r = 0.73). CONCLUSION--The collagenase concentration in synovial fluid cannot be used as a marker for systemic disease activity, but can be used as a marker for the degree of synovial inflammation in the joint from which the sample is aspirated. In advanced RA, most of the collagenase is probably produced in synovial lining cells and released into synovial fluid, where it degrades the matrix of articular cartilage. An imbalance between MMP and TIMP may be of importance in the degradation of extracellular matrix of articular cartilage in RA.
Images
PMCID: PMC1010062  PMID: 8546529
21.  Aggrecan degradation in human cartilage. Evidence for both matrix metalloproteinase and aggrecanase activity in normal, osteoarthritic, and rheumatoid joints. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(1):93-106.
To examine the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and aggrecanase in control and diseased human articular cartilage, metabolic fragments of aggrecan were detected with monospecific antipeptide antibodies. The distribution and quantity of MMP-generated aggrecan G1 fragments terminating in VDIPEN341 were compared with the distribution of aggrecanase-generated G1 fragments terminating in NITEGE373. Both types of G1 fragments were isolated from osteoarthritic cartilage. The sizes were consistent with a single enzymatic cleavage in the interglobular domain region, with no further proteolytic processing of these fragments. Both neoepitopes were also detected by immunohistochemistry in articular cartilage from patients undergoing joint replacement for osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and in cartilage from adults with no known joint disease. In control specimens, the staining intensity for both G1 fragments increased with age, with little staining in cartilage from 22-wk-old fetal samples. There was also an increase with age in the extracted amount of MMP-generated neoepitope in relation to both aggrecan and collagen content, confirming the immunohistochemical results. After the age of 20-30 yr this relationship remained at a steady state. The staining for the MMP-generated epitope was most marked in control cartilage exhibiting histological signs of damage, whereas intense staining for the aggrecanase-generated fragment was often noted in adult cartilage lacking overt histological damage. Intense staining for both neoepitopes appeared in the more severely fibrillated, superficial region of the tissue. Intense immunostaining for both VDIPEN- and NITEGE- neoepitopes was also detected in joint cartilage from patients with OA or RA. Cartilage in these specimens was significantly more degraded and high levels of staining for both epitopes was always seen in areas with extensive cartilage damage. The levels of extracted VDIPEN neoepitope relative to collagen or aggrecan in both OA and RA samples were similar to those seen in age-matched control specimens. Immunostaining for both types of aggrecan fragments was seen surrounding the cells but also further removed in the interterritorial matrix. In some regions of the tissue, both neoepitopes were found while in others only one was detected. Thus, generation and/or turnover of these specific catabolic aggrecan fragments is not necessarily coordinated. Our results are consistent with the presence in both normal and arthritic joint cartilage of proteolytic activity against aggrecan based on both classical MMPs and "aggrecanase."
PMCID: PMC508169  PMID: 9202061
22.  VDIPEN, a metalloproteinase-generated neoepitope, is induced and immunolocalized in articular cartilage during inflammatory arthritis. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1995;95(5):2178-2186.
The destruction of articular cartilage in immune inflammatory arthritic disease involves the proteolytic degradation of its extracellular matrix. The role of activated matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the chondrodestructive process was studied by identifying a selective cleavage product of aggrecan in murine arthritis models initiated by immunization with either type II collagen or proteoglycan. We conducted semiquantitative immunocytochemical studies of VDIPEN341 using a monospecific polyclonal antibody requiring the free COOH group of the COOH-terminal Asn for epitope detection. This antibody recognizes the aggrecan G1 domain fragment generated by MMP [i.e., stromelysin (SLN) or gelatinase A] cleavage of aggrecan between Asn341-Phe342 but does not recognize intact aggrecan. VDIPEN was undetectable in normal mouse cartilage but was observed in the articular cartilage (AC) of mice with collagen-induced arthritis 10 d after immunization, without histological damage and clinical symptoms. This aggrecan neoepitope was colocalized with high levels of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in pericellular matrices of AC chondrocytes but was not seen at the articular surface at this early time. Digestion of normal (VDIPEN negative) mouse paw cryosections with SLN also produced heavy pericellular VDIPEN labeling. Computer-based image analysis showed that the amount of VDIPEN expression increased dramatically by 20 d (70% of the SLN maximum) and was correlated with GAG depletion. Both infiltration of inflammatory cells into the synovial cavity and early AC erosion were also very prominent at this time. Analysis of adjacent sections showed that both induction of VDIPEN and GAG depletion were strikingly codistributed within sites of articular cartilage damage. Similar results occurred in proteoglycan-induced arthritis, a more progressive and chronic model of inflammatory arthritis. These studies demonstrate for the first time the MMP-dependent catabolism of aggrecan at sites of chondrodestruction during inflammatory arthritis.
Images
PMCID: PMC295822  PMID: 7537757
23.  Matrix metalloproteinase-8 deficiency increases joint inflammation and bone erosion in the K/BxN serum-transfer arthritis model 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(6):R224.
Introduction
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which joint inflammation leads to progressive cartilage and bone erosion. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) implicated in homeostasis of the extracellular matrix play a central role in cartilage degradation. However, the role of specific MMPs in arthritis pathogenesis is largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of Mmp-8 (collagenase-2) in an arthritis model.
Methods
Arthritis was induced in Mmp8-deficient and wildtype mice by K/BxN serum transfer. Arthritis severity was measured by a clinical index and ankle sections were scored for synovial inflammation, cartilage damage and bone erosion. cDNA microarray analysis, real-time PCR and western blot were performed to identify differential changes in gene expression between mice lacking Mmp8 and controls.
Results
Mmp8 deficiency increased the severity of arthritis, although the incidence of disease was similar in control and deficient mice. Increased clinical score was associated with exacerbated synovial inflammation and bone erosion. We also found that the absence of Mmp8 led to increased expression of IL-1β, pentraxin-3 (PTX3) and prokineticin receptor 2 (PROKR2) in arthritic mice joints.
Conclusions
Lack of Mmp-8 is accompanied by exacerbated synovial inflammation and bone erosion in the K/BxN serum-transfer arthritis model, indicating that this Mmp has a protective role in arthritis.
doi:10.1186/ar3211
PMCID: PMC3046537  PMID: 21190566
24.  In vitro modulation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in adult human sarcoma cell lines by cytokines, inducers and inhibitors 
International Journal of Oncology  2013;43(6):1787-1798.
The highly aggressive adult sarcomas are characterized by high levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9, which play crucial roles in tumor invasion and metastasis by degradation of the extracellular membrane leading to cancer cell spread to distal organs. We examined the effect of cytokines, mitogens, inducers and inhibitors on MMP-2 and MMP-9 secretion in chondrosarcoma (SW-1353), fibrosarcoma (HT-1080), liposarcoma (SW-872) and synovial sarcoma (SW-982) cell lines. The selected compounds included natural cytokines and growth factors, as well as chemical compounds applied in therapy of sarcoma and natural compounds that have demonstrated anticancer therapeutic potential. MMP-2 and MMP-9 secretions were analyzed by gelatinase zymography following 24-h exposure to the tested agents and quantitated by densitometry. Fibrosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, liposarcoma and synovial sarcoma showed bands corresponding to MMP-2 and MMP-9 with dose-dependent enhancement of MMP-9 with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) treatment. In chondrosarcoma cells, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α had a stimulatory effect on MMP-9 and insignificant effect on MMP-2 and interleukin (IL)-1β stimulated MMP-9 and MMP-2. In fibrosarcoma and liposarcoma cells, TNF-α had a profound stimulatory effect on MMP-9, but no effect on MMP-2 and in synovial sarcoma an inhibitory effect on MMP-2 and no effect on MMP-9. IL-1β had a slight inhibitory effect on fibrosarcoma, liposarcoma and synovial sarcoma MMP-2 and MMP-9 except for MMP-9 in synovial sarcoma which showed slight stimulation. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated expression of MMP-2 in fibrosarcoma and chondrosarcoma while inhibited it in liposarcoma. Doxycycline, epigallocatechin gallate and the nutrient mixture inhibited MMP-2 and MMP-9 in all cell lines. Actinomycin-D, cyclohexamide, retinoic acid, and dexamethasone inhibited MMP-2 and -9 in chondrosarcoma and fibrosarcoma cells. Our results show that cytokines, mitogens, inducers and inhibitors have an up or down regulatory effect on MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression in adult sarcoma cell lines, suggesting these agents may be effective strategies to treat these cancers.
doi:10.3892/ijo.2013.2113
PMCID: PMC3834263  PMID: 24085323
matrix metalloproteinases; chondrosarcoma; fibrosarcoma; liposarcoma; synovial sarcoma; cytokines; inducers; inhibitors
25.  Collagenase-3 (MMP-13) deficiency protects C57BL/6 mice from antibody-induced arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R222.
Introduction
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are important in tissue remodelling. Here we investigate the role of collagenase-3 (MMP-13) in antibody-induced arthritis.
Methods
For this study we employed the K/BxN serum-induced arthritis model. Arthritis was induced in C57BL/6 wild type (WT) and MMP-13-deficient (MMP-13–/–) mice by intraperitoneal injection of 200 μl of K/BxN serum. Arthritis was assessed by measuring the ankle swelling. During the course of the experiments, mice were sacrificed every second day for histological examination of the ankle joints. Ankle sections were evaluated histologically for infiltration of inflammatory cells, pannus tissue formation and bone/cartilage destruction. Semi-quantitative PCR was used to determine MMP-13 expression levels in ankle joints of untreated and K/BxN serum-injected mice.
Results
This study shows that MMP-13 is a regulator of inflammation. We observed increased expression of MMP-13 in ankle joints of WT mice during K/BxN serum-induced arthritis and both K/BxN serum-treated WT and MMP-13–/– mice developed progressive arthritis with a similar onset. However, MMP-13–/– mice showed significantly reduced disease over the whole arthritic period. Ankle joints of WT mice showed severe joint destruction with extensive inflammation and erosion of cartilage and bone. In contrast, MMP-13–/– mice displayed significantly decreased severity of arthritis (50% to 60%) as analyzed by clinical and histological scoring methods.
Conclusions
MMP-13 deficiency acts to suppress the local inflammatory responses. Therefore, MMP-13 has a role in the pathogenesis of arthritis, suggesting MMP-13 is a potential therapeutic target.
doi:10.1186/ar4423
PMCID: PMC3979078  PMID: 24369907

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