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1.  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
2.  Ultraviolet Phototherapy Management of Moderate-to-Severe Plaque Psoriasis 
Executive Summary
Objective
The purpose of this evidence based analysis was to determine the effectiveness and safety of ultraviolet phototherapy for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.
Research Questions
The specific research questions for the evidence review were as follows:
What is the safety of ultraviolet phototherapy for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis?
What is the effectiveness of ultraviolet phototherapy for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis?
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Psoriasis is a common chronic, systemic inflammatory disease affecting the skin, nails and occasionally the joints and has a lifelong waning and waxing course. It has a worldwide occurrence with a prevalence of at least 2% of the general population, making it one of the most common systemic inflammatory diseases. The immune-mediated disease has several clinical presentations with the most common (85% - 90%) being plaque psoriasis.
Characteristic features of psoriasis include scaling, redness, and elevation of the skin. Patients with psoriasis may also present with a range of disabling symptoms such as pruritus (itching), pain, bleeding, or burning associated with plaque lesions and up to 30% are classified as having moderate-to-severe disease. Further, some psoriasis patients can be complex medical cases in which diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and hypertension are more likely to be present than in control populations and 10% also suffer from arthritis (psoriatic arthritis). The etiology of psoriasis is unknown but is thought to result from complex interactions between the environment and predisposing genes.
Management of psoriasis is related to the extent of the skin involvement, although its presence on the hands, feet, face or genitalia can present challenges. Moderate-to-severe psoriasis is managed by phototherapy and a range of systemic agents including traditional immunosuppressants such as methotrexate and cyclospsorin. Treatment with modern immunosuppressant agents known as biologicals, which more specifically target the immune defects of the disease, is usually reserved for patients with contraindications and those failing or unresponsive to treatments with traditional immunosuppressants or phototherapy.
Treatment plans are based on a long-term approach to managing the disease, patient’s expectations, individual responses and risk of complications. The treatment goals are several fold but primarily to:
1) improve physical signs and secondary psychological effects,
2) reduce inflammation and control skin shedding,
3) control physical signs as long as possible, and to
4) avoid factors that can aggravate the condition.
Approaches are generally individualized because of the variable presentation, quality of life implications, co-existent medical conditions, and triggering factors (e.g. stress, infections and medications). Individual responses and commitments to therapy also present possible limitations.
Phototherapy
Ultraviolet phototherapy units have been licensed since February 1993 as a class 2 device in Canada. Units are available as hand held devices, hand and foot devices, full-body panel, and booth styles for institutional and home use. Units are also available with a range of ultraviolet A, broad and narrow band ultraviolet B (BB-UVB and NB-UVB) lamps. After establishing appropriate ultraviolet doses, three-times weekly treatment schedules for 20 to 25 treatments are generally needed to control symptoms.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
The literature search strategy employed keywords and subject headings to capture the concepts of 1) phototherapy and 2) psoriasis. The search involved runs in the following databases: Ovid MEDLINE (1996 to March Week 3 2009), OVID MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE (1980 to 2009 Week 13), the Wiley Cochrane Library, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination/International Agency for Health Technology Assessment. Parallel search strategies were developed for the remaining databases. Search results were limited to human and English-language published between January 1999 and March 31, 2009. Search alerts were generated and reviewed for relevant literature up until May 31, 2009.
English language reports and human studies
Ultraviolet phototherapy interventions for plaque-type psoriasis
Reports involving efficacy and/or safety outcome studies
Original reports with defined study methodology
Standardized measurements on outcome events such as technical success, safety, effectiveness, durability, quality of life or patient satisfaction
Non-systematic reviews, letters, comments and editorials
Randomized trials involving side-to-side or half body comparisons
Randomized trials not involving ultraviolet phototherapy intervention for plaque-type psoriasis
Trials involving dosing studies, pilot feasibility studies or lacking control groups
Summary of Findings
A 2000 health technology evidence report on the overall management of psoriasis by The National Institute Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Program of the UK was identified in the MAS evidence-based review. The report included 109 RCT studies published between 1966 and June 1999 involving four major treatment approaches – 51 on phototherapy, 32 on oral retinoids, 18 on cyclosporin and five on fumarates.. The absence of RCTs on methotrexate was noted as original studies with this agent had been performed prior to 1966.
Of the 51 RCT studies involving phototherapy, 22 involved UVA, 21 involved UVB, five involved both UVA and UVB and three involved natural light as a source of UV. The RCT studies included comparisons of treatment schedules, ultraviolet source, addition of adjuvant therapies, and comparisons between phototherapy and topical treatment schedules. Because of heterogeneity, no synthesis or meta-analysis could be performed. Overall, the reviewers concluded that the efficacy of only five therapies could be supported from the RCT-based evidence review: photochemotherapy or phototherapy, cyclosporin, systemic retinoids, combination topical vitamin D3 analogues (calcipotriol) and corticosteroids in combination with phototherapy and fumarates. Although there was no RCT evidence supporting methotrexate, it’s efficacy for psoriasis is well known and it continues to be a treatment mainstay.
The conclusion of the NIHR evidence review was that both photochemotherapy and phototherapy were effective treatments for clearing psoriasis, although their comparative effectiveness was unknown. Despite the conclusions on efficacy, a number of issues were identified in the evidence review and several areas for future research were discussed to address these limitations. Trials focusing on comparative effectiveness, either between ultraviolet sources or between classes of treatment such as methotrexate versus phototherapy, were recommended to refine treatment algorithms. The need for better assessment of cost-effectiveness of therapies to consider systemic drug costs and costs of surveillance, as well as drug efficacy, were also noted. Overall, the authors concluded that phototherapy and photochemotherapy had important roles in psoriasis management and were standard therapeutic options for psoriasis offered in dermatology practices.
The MAS evidence-based review focusing on the RCT trial evidence for ultraviolet phototherapy management of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis was performed as an update to the NIHR 2000 systemic review on treatments for severe psoriasis. In this review, an additional 26 RCT reports examining phototherapy or photochemotherapy for psoriasis were identified. Among the studies were two RCTs comparing ultraviolet wavelength sources, five RCTs comparing different forms of phototherapy, four RCTs combining phototherapy with prior spa saline bathing, nine RCTs combining phototherapy with topical agents, two RCTs combining phototherapy with the systemic immunosuppressive agents methotrexate or alefacept, one RCT comparing phototherapy with an additional light source (the excimer laser), and one comparing a combination therapy with phototherapy and psychological intervention involving simultaneous audiotape sessions on mindfulness and stress reduction. Two trials also examined the effect of treatment setting on effectiveness of phototherapy, one on inpatient versus outpatient therapy and one on outpatient clinic versus home-based phototherapy.
Conclusions
The conclusions of the MAS evidence-based review are outlined in Table ES1. In summary, phototherapy provides good control of clinical symptoms in the short term for patients with moderate-to-severe plaque-type psoriasis that have failed or are unresponsive to management with topical agents. However, many of the evidence gaps identified in the NIHR 2000 evidence review on psoriasis management persisted. In particular, the lack of evidence on the comparative effectiveness and/or cost-effectiveness between the major treatment options for moderate-to-severe psoriasis remained. The evidence on effectiveness and safety of longer term strategies for disease management has also not been addressed. Evidence for the safety, effectiveness, or cost-effectiveness of phototherapy delivered in various settings is emerging but is limited. In addition, because all available treatments for psoriasis – a disease with a high prevalence, chronicity, and cost – are palliative rather than curative, strategies for disease control and improvements in self-efficacy employed in other chronic disease management strategies should be investigated.
RCT Evidence for Ultraviolet Phototherapy Treatment of Moderate-To-Severe Plaque Psoriasis
Phototherapy is an effective treatment for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
Narrow band PT is more effective than broad band PT for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
Oral-PUVA has a greater clinical response, requires less treatments and has a greater cumulative UV irradiation dose than UVB to achieve treatment effects for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
Spa salt water baths prior to phototherapy did increase short term clinical response of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis but did not decrease cumulative UV irradiation dose
Addition of topical agents (vitamin D3 calcipotriol) to NB-UVB did not increase mean clinical response or decrease treatments or cumulative UV irradiation dose
Methotrexate prior to NB-UVB in high need psoriasis patients did significantly increase clinical response, decrease number of treatment sessions and decrease cumulative UV irradiation dose
Phototherapy following alefacept did increase early clinical response in moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis
Effectiveness and safety of home NB-UVB phototherapy was not inferior to NB-UVB phototherapy provided in a clinic to patients with psoriasis referred for phototherapy. Treatment burden was lower and patient satisfaction was higher with home therapy and patients in both groups preferred future phototherapy treatments at home
Ontario Health System Considerations
A 2006 survey of ultraviolet phototherapy services in Canada identified 26 phototherapy clinics in Ontario for a population of over 12 million. At that time, there were 177 dermatologists and 50 geographic regions in which 28% (14/50) provided phototherapy services. The majority of the phototherapy services were reported to be located in densely populated areas; relatively few patients living in rural communities had access to these services. The inconvenience of multiple weekly visits for optimal phototherapy treatment effects poses additional burdens to those with travel difficulties related to health, job, or family-related responsibilities.
Physician OHIP billing for phototherapy services totaled 117,216 billings in 2007, representing approximately 1,800 patients in the province treated in private clinics. The number of patients treated in hospitals is difficult to estimate as physician costs are not billed directly to OHIP in this setting. Instead, phototherapy units and services provided in hospitals are funded by hospitals’ global budgets. Some hospitals in the province, however, have divested their phototherapy services, so the number of phototherapy clinics and their total capacity is currently unknown.
Technological advances have enabled changes in phototherapy treatment regimens from lengthy hospital inpatient stays to outpatient clinic visits and, more recently, to an at-home basis. When combined with a telemedicine follow-up, home phototherapy may provide an alternative strategy for improved access to service and follow-up care, particularly for those with geographic or mobility barriers. Safety and effectiveness have, however, so far been evaluated for only one phototherapy home-based delivery model. Alternate care models and settings could potentially increase service options and access, but the broader consequences of the varying cost structures and incentives that either increase or decrease phototherapy services are unknown.
Economic Analyses
The focus of the current economic analysis was to characterize the costs associated with the provision of NB-UVB phototherapy for plaque-type, moderate-to-severe psoriasis in different clinical settings, including home therapy. A literature review was conducted and no cost-effectiveness (cost-utility) economic analyses were published in this area.
Hospital, Clinic, and Home Costs of Phototherapy
Costs for NB-UVB phototherapy were based on consultations with equipment manufacturers and dermatologists. Device costs applicable to the provision of NB-UVB phototherapy in hospitals, private clinics and at a patient’s home were estimated. These costs included capital costs of purchasing NB-UVB devices (amortized over 15-20 years), maintenance costs of replacing equipment bulbs, physician costs of phototherapy treatment in private clinics ($7.85 per phototherapy treatment), and medication and laboratory costs associated with treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis.
NB-UVB phototherapy services provided in a hospital setting were paid for by hospitals directly. Phototherapy services in private clinic and home settings were paid for by the clinic and patient, respectively, except for physician services covered by OHIP. Indirect funding was provided to hospitals as part of global budgeting and resource allocation. Home therapy services for NB-UVB phototherapy were not covered by the MOHLTC. Coverage for home-based phototherapy however, was in some cases provided by third party insurers.
Device costs for NB-UVB phototherapy were estimated for two types of phototherapy units: a “booth unit” consisting of 48 bulbs used in hospitals and clinics, and a “panel unit” consisting of 10 bulbs for home use. The device costs of the booth and panel units were estimated at approximately $18,600 and $2,900, respectively; simple amortization over 15 and 20 years implied yearly costs of approximately $2,500 and $150, respectively. Replacement cost for individual bulbs was about $120 resulting in total annual cost of maintenance of about $8,640 and $120 for booth and panel units, respectively.
Estimated Total Costs for Ontario
Average annual cost per patient for NB-UVB phototherapy provided in the hospital, private clinic or at home was estimated to be $292, $810 and $365 respectively. For comparison purposes, treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis with methotrexate and cyclosporin amounted to $712 and $3,407 annually per patient respectively; yearly costs for biological drugs were estimated to be $18,700 for alefacept and $20,300 for etanercept-based treatments.
Total annual costs of NB-UVB phototherapy were estimated by applying average costs to an estimated proportion of the population (age 18 or older) eligible for phototherapy treatment. The prevalence of psoriasis was estimated to be approximately 2% of the population, of which about 85% was of plaque-type psoriasis and approximately 20% to 30% was considered moderate-to-severe in disease severity. An estimate of 25% for moderate-to-severe psoriasis cases was used in the current economic analysis resulting in a range of 29,400 to 44,200 cases. Approximately 21% of these patients were estimated to be using NB-UVB phototherapy for treatment resulting in a number of cases in the range between 6,200 and 9,300 cases. The average (7,700) number of cases was used to calculate associated costs for Ontario by treatment setting.
Total annual costs were as follows: $2.3 million in a hospital setting, $6.3 million in a private clinic setting, and $2.8 million for home phototherapy. Costs for phototherapy services provided in private clinics were greater ($810 per patient annually; total of $6.3 million annually) and differed from the same services provided in the hospital setting only in terms of additional physician costs associated with phototherapy OHIP fees.
Keywords
Psoriasis, ultraviolet radiation, phototherapy, photochemotherapy, NB-UVB, BB-UVB PUVA
PMCID: PMC3377497  PMID: 23074532
3.  Expression of IL-20 in synovium and lesional skin of patients with psoriatic arthritis: differential response to alefacept treatment 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(5):R200.
Introduction
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory joint disease associated with psoriasis. Alefacept (a lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-3 Ig fusion protein that binds to CD2 and functions as an antagonist to T-cell activation) has been shown to result in improvement in psoriasis but has limited effectiveness in PsA. Interleukin-20 (IL-20) is a key proinflammatory cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. The effects of alefacept treatment on IL-20 expression in the synovium of patients with psoriasis and PsA are currently unknown.
Methods
Eleven patients with active PsA and chronic plaque psoriasis were treated with alefacept (7.5 mg per week for 12 weeks) in an open-label study. Skin biopsies were taken before and after 1 and 6 weeks, whereas synovial biopsies were obtained before and 4 and 12 weeks after treatment. Synovial biopsies from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (n = 10) were used as disease controls. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to detect IL-20 expression, and stained synovial tissue sections were evaluated with digital image analysis. Double staining was performed with IL-20 and CD68 (macrophages), and conversely with CD55 (fibroblast-like synoviocytes, FLSs) to determine the phenotype of IL-20-positive cells in PsA synovium. IL-20 expression in skin sections (n = 6) was analyzed semiquantitatively.
Results
IL-20 was abundantly expressed in both PsA and RA synovial tissues. In inflamed PsA synovium, CD68+ macrophages and CD55+ FLSs coexpressed IL-20, and its expression correlated with the numbers of FLSs. IL-20 expression in lesional skin of PsA patients decreased significantly (P = 0.04) 6 weeks after treatment and correlated positively with the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI). IL-20 expression in PsA synovium was not affected by alefacept.
Conclusions
Conceivably, the relatively limited effectiveness of alefacept in PsA patients (compared with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy) might be explained in part by persistent FLS-derived IL-20 expression.
doi:10.1186/ar4038
PMCID: PMC3580512  PMID: 23006144
4.  Deactivation of endothelium and reduction in angiogenesis in psoriatic skin and synovium by low dose infliximab therapy in combination with stable methotrexate therapy: a prospective single-centre study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2004;6(4):R326-R334.
Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are inflammatory diseases that respond well to anti-tumour necrosis factor-α therapy. To evaluate the effects of anti-tumour necrosis factor-α treatment on expression of adhesion molecules and angiogenesis in psoriatic lesional skin and synovial tissue, we performed a prospective single-centre study with infliximab therapy combined with stable methotrexate therapy. Eleven patients with both active psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis received infusions of infliximab (3 mg/kg) at baseline, and at weeks 2, 6, 14 and 22 in an open-label study. In addition, patients continued to receive stable methotrexate therapy in dosages ranging from 5 to 20 mg/week. Clinical assessments, including Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) and Disease Activity Score (DAS), were performed at baseline and every 2 weeks afterward. In addition, skin biopsies from a target psoriatic plaque and synovial tissue biopsies from a target joint were taken before treatment and at week 4. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to detect the number of blood vessels, the expression of adhesion molecules and the presence of vascular growth factors. Stained sections were evaluated by digital image analysis. At week 16, the mean PASI was reduced from 12.3 ± 2.4 at baseline to 1.8 ± 0.4 (P ≤ 0.02). The mean DAS was reduced from 6.0 ± 0.5 to 3.6 ± 0.6 (P ≤ 0.02). We found some fluctuations in DAS response as compared with the change in PASI, with the latter exhibiting a steady decrease over time. After 4 weeks the cell infiltrate was reduced in both skin and synovium. There was a significant reduction in the number of blood vessels in dermis and synovium at week 4. A significant reduction in the expression of αvβ3 integrin, a marker of neovascularization, was also found in both skin and synovium at week 4. In addition, a significant reduction in the expression of adhesion molecules was observed in both skin and synovium at week 4. We also observed a trend toward reduced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in both skin and synovium. In conclusion, low-dose infliximab treatment leads to decreased neoangiogenesis and deactivation of the endothelium, resulting in decreased cell infiltration and clinical improvement in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
doi:10.1186/ar1182
PMCID: PMC464872  PMID: 15225368
Angiogenesis; immunotherapy; inflammation; psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis
5.  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
6.  High Matrix Metalloproteinase Production Correlates with Immune Activation and Leukocyte Migration in Leprosy Reactional Lesions▿  
Infection and Immunity  2009;78(3):1012-1021.
Gelatinases A and B (matrix metalloproteinase 2 [MMP-2] and MMP-9, respectively) can induce basal membrane breakdown and leukocyte migration, but their role in leprosy skin inflammation remains unclear. In this study, we analyzed clinical specimens from leprosy patients taken from stable, untreated skin lesions and during reactional episodes (reversal reaction [RR] and erythema nodosum leprosum [ENL]). The participation of MMPs in disease was suggested by (i) increased MMP mRNA expression levels in skin biopsy specimens correlating with the expression of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), (ii) the detection of the MMP protein and enzymatic activity within the inflammatory infiltrate, (iii) increased MMP levels in patient sera, and (iv) the in vitro induction of MMP-9 by Mycobacterium leprae and/or TNF-α. It was observed that IFN-γ, TNF-α, MMP-2, and MMP-9 mRNA levels were higher in tuberculoid than lepromatous lesions. In contrast, interleukin-10 and tissue inhibitor of MMP (TIMP-1) message were not differentially modulated. These data correlated with the detection of the MMP protein evidenced by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. When RR and ENL lesions were analyzed, an increase in TNF-α, MMP-2, and MMP-9, but not TIMP-1, mRNA levels was observed together with stronger MMP activity (zymography/in situ zymography). Moreover, following in vitro stimulation of peripheral blood cells, M. leprae induced the expression of MMP-9 (mRNA and protein) in cultured cells. Overall, the present data demonstrate an enhanced MMP/TIMP-1 ratio in the inflammatory states of leprosy and point to potential mechanisms for tissue damage. These results pave the way toward the application of new therapeutic interventions for leprosy reactions.
doi:10.1128/IAI.00896-09
PMCID: PMC2825932  PMID: 20008541
7.  Salivary Antioxidants and Metalloproteinases in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis 
Molecular Medicine  2009;16(3-4):122-128.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common autoimmune inflammatory disease in children; joint inflammation is the hallmark of the disease. Thirty-five children with JIA were studied, of whom 26 had active disease and 14 were receiving anti-TNF therapy (5 with Infliximab, 9 with Etanercept). Sixteen healthy controls also were studied. Saliva samples were obtained for analysis of anti-oxidant status, metalloproteinases (MMPs) and sialochemistry. The total antioxidant status was significantly higher in the saliva of all JIA patients, whether treated (P = 0.014) or not treated (P = 0.038) with anti-TNF agents. The increase in antioxidant status (TAS) in the saliva of the active patients was nearly two times higher than that of non-active patients (P = 0.01). MMP levels were significantly lower in JIA patients than in controls. MMP-9, MMP-3 and MMP-2 were lower in JIA patients without anti-TNF treatment by 36.7% (P = 0.01), 30.0% (P = 0.0001) and 10.7% (P = 0.0001), respectively. A greater reduction in MMP levels was observed in the group of patients treated with anti-TNF drugs: MMP-9, MMP-3 and MMP-2 were lower than in controls by 51.1% (P = 0.0001), 61.5% (P = 0.0001) and 55.4% (P = 0.0001), respectively. Children with JIA exhibited a significantly higher salivary antioxidant activity and significantly lower MMP levels. Anti-TNF treatment was associated with a further decrease in MMP levels in the saliva of JIA patients while an active state of JIA was associated with a further increase in the salivary antioxidant activity. Anti-TNF treatment may modulate the degradation process during the course of arthritis by inhibition of the activity of MMP.
doi:10.2119/molmed.2009.00096
PMCID: PMC2802555  PMID: 20062821
8.  SCID MOUSE MODEL OF PSORIASIS: A UNIQUE TOOL FOR DRUG DEVELOPMENT OF AUTOREACTIVE T-CELL AND TH-17 CELL-MEDIATED AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES 
Indian Journal of Dermatology  2010;55(2):157-160.
In both skin and synovial tissues of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients, there are prominent lymphocytic infiltrates localized to the dermal papillae in the skin and the sublining layer stroma in the joint. T-cells, with a predominance of CD4+ lymphocytes, are the most significant lymphocytes in the tissues; in contrast, this ratio is reversed in the epidermis, synovial fluid compartment, and at the enthesis, where CD8+ T-cells are more common. This differential tropism of CD8+ T-cell suggests that the CD8+ T-cells may be driving the immune response in the joint and skin. This is supported by an association with MHC class I. The cytokine network in the psoriatic skin and synovium is dominated by monocyte and T-cell-derived cytokines: IL-1β, IL-2, IL-10, IFN-γ, and TNF-α. In PsA synovium, higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, and IL-10 have been detected than in psoriatic skin. An analysis of T-cell receptor beta-chain variable (TCRβV) gene repertoires revealed common expansions in both skin and synovial inflammatory sites, suggesting an important role for cognate T-cell responses in the pathogenesis of PsA and that the inciting antigen may be identical or homologous between the afflicted skin and synovium. Traditionally, T-cells have been classified as T helper 1 (Th1) or Th2 cells by production of defining cytokines, IFN-γ and IL-4, respectively. Recently, a new type of T-cell, Th17, has been linked to autoimmune inflammation. T-helper 17 (Th17) cells are a unique effector CD4+ T-cell subset characterized by the production of interleukin (IL)-17. Murine diseases that were previously considered to be pure Th1-mediated responses have been shown to contain mixed populations of Th1 and Th17 cells. Also, in humans, a critical immunoregulatory role of Th-17 cells in infectious and autoimmune diseases has been identified. It has been postulated that IL-17 may be important in psoriasis. Our initial observations demonstrate that IL-17 and its receptor system are important for PsA also. In in vivo and in vitro studies we have demonstrated that IL-17/IL-17R are enriched in skin, synovial tissue, and synovial fluid of psoriatic arthritis patients and Th17 cells are functionally significant in the pathogenesis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Here we will share our experience of the SCID mouse model of psoriasis in respect to its use in investigating psoriatic diseases and development of immune-based drugs for psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.
doi:10.4103/0019-5154.62752
PMCID: PMC2887521  PMID: 20606886
Novel therapy; psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis; SCID mouse; Th17 cell
9.  TNF-α stimulates activation of pro-MMP2 in human skin through NF-κB mediated induction of MT1-MMP 
Journal of cell science  2001;114(Pt 1):131-139.
SUMMARY
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is an important mediator during the inflammatory phase of wound healing. Excessive amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α are associated with inflammatory diseases including chronic wounds. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in matrix re-modeling during wound healing, angiogenesis and tumor metastasis. As with proinflammatory cytokines, high levels of MMPs have been found in inflammatory states such as chronic wounds. In this report we relate these two phenomena. TNF-α stimulates secretion of active MMP-2, a type IV collagenase, in organ-cultured full-thickness human skin. This suggests a mechanism whereby excess inflammation affects normal wound healing.
To investigate this observation at the cellular and molecular levels, we examined TNF-α mediated activation of pro-MMP-2, induction of MT1-MMP, and the intracellular signaling pathways that regulate the proteinase in isolated human dermal fibroblasts. We found that TNF-α substantially promoted activation of pro-MMP-2 in dermal fibroblasts embedded in type-I collagen. In marked contrast, collagen or TNF-α individually had little influence on the fibroblast-mediated pro-MMP-2 activation. One well-characterized mechanism for pro-MMP-2 activation is through a membrane type matrix metalloproteinase, such as MT1-MMP. We report that TNF-α significantly induced MT1-MMP at the mRNA and protein levels when the dermal fibroblasts were grown in collagen. Although the intracellular signaling pathway regulating mt1-mmp gene expression is still obscure, both TNF-α and collagen activate the NF-κB pathway. In this report we provide three sets of evidence to support a hypothesis that activation of NF-κB is essential to induce MT1-MMP expression in fibroblasts after TNF-α exposure. First, SN50, a peptide inhibitor for NF-κB nuclear translocation, simultaneously blocked the TNF-α and collagen mediated MT1-MMP induction and pro-MMP-2 activation. Secondly, TNF-α induced IκB to breakdown in fibroblasts within the collagen lattice, a critical step leading to NF-κB activation. Lastly, a consensus binding site for p65 NF-κB (TGGAGCTTCC) was found in the 5′-flanking region of human mt1-mmp gene.
Based on these results and previous reports, we propose a model to explain TNF-α activation of MMP-2 in human skin. Activation of NF-κB signaling in fibroblasts embedded in collagen induces mt1-mmp gene expression, which subsequently activates the pro-MMP-2. The findings provide a specific mechanism whereby TNF-α may affect matrix remodeling during wound healing and other physiological and pathological processes.
PMCID: PMC2435089  PMID: 11112697
TNF-alpha; MMP-2; MT1-MMP; NF-kappa B; Collagen; Type IV collagenase; Gelatinase A; Inflammatory cytokine; Wound healing; Skin
10.  Efficacy of infliximab on MRI‐determined bone oedema in psoriatic arthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2006;66(6):778-781.
Background
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is commonly associated with bone pathology, including entheseal new bone formation and osteolysis. On MRI, areas of active clinical involvement are represented by bone oedema and synovitis.
Aim
To assess the impact of infliximab on bone oedema in PsA as shown by MRI.
Methods
18 patients with joint swelling, psoriasis and seronegativity for rheumatoid factor received four infusions of infliximab, 3 mg/kg, in combination with methotrexate. MRI of the affected hand (12 patients) or knee joints (6 patients) was performed before and after treatment. The primary outcome was the assessment of bone oedema and synovitis at 20 weeks as shown by MRI. Secondary outcomes included the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) response criteria, psoriasis skin scores (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI)) and a quality of life measure (Psoriatic Arthritis Quality of Life (PsAQoL)).
Results
At baseline, bone oedema was seen in 50% of patients (seven hands and two knees) in 30% of scanned joints, and this improved or resolved in all cases in the hand joints (p = 0.018) and in one knee joint at 20 weeks. Synovitis was found to be reduced in 90% of cases on MRI. Likewise, a significant improvement in all clinical outcomes, including PASI (p = 0.003) and PsAQoL (p = 0.006) was seen at week 20. 65% (n = 11) of the patients achieved an ACR response, of whom 45% had ACR70 or above and 54% had ACR20 or ACR50.
Conclusions
Infliximab treatment is associated with dramatic improvements in MRI‐determined bone oedema in PsA in the short term. It remains to be determined whether infliiximib treatment is the cause for prevention of new bone formation, bone fusion or osteolysis in PsA as shown by radiography.
doi:10.1136/ard.2006.063818
PMCID: PMC1954680  PMID: 17185324
11.  Long term efficacy and safety of etanercept in the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis 
Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-mediated inflammatory disease affecting both the skin and joints. Approximately 20% of patients suffer a moderate to severe form of skin disease and up to 30% have joint involvement. Standard therapies for psoriasis include topical medications, phototherapy, and both oral systemic and biological therapies whereas therapies for psoriatic arthritis include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs followed by disease modifying antirheumatic drugs and/or tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors and interleukin-12/23p40 inhibitors. Treatment of both diseases is typically driven by disease severity. In the past decade, major advances in the understanding of the immunopathogenesis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have led to the development of numerous biological therapies, which have revolutionized the treatment for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Anti-TNF-α agents are currently considered as first line biological therapies for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Currently approved anti-TNF-α agents include etanercept, adalimumab, and infliximab for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis as well as golimumab and certolizumab for psoriatic arthritis. In this article, we aim to evaluate the long term safety and efficacy of etanercept in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
doi:10.2147/BTT.S41481
PMCID: PMC4000175  PMID: 24790410
psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis; etanercept; biological therapy; tumor necrosis factor; safety
12.  New developments in the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: a focus on apremilast 
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease, most commonly resulting in the occurrence of red and silver scaly plaques. About 30% of psoriasis sufferers develop psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a disorder that presents with additional joint inflammation and other clinical features. At present, the most effective treatment for moderate and severe psoriasis and PsA are biologics such as antitumor necrosis factor alpha therapy. Biologics are costly and typically require repeated injections; hence, the development of novel, orally available, small molecular inhibitors that are less expensive to produce is highly desirable. The phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor apremilast is a small molecular inhibitor that acts by increasing cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels, ultimately suppressing tumor necrosis alpha production. Apremilast has been tested in a number of psoriasis and PsA pilot and Phase II trials to evaluate its efficacy and safety. More recently, three larger double-blinded, and randomized multicenter studies demonstrate that apremilast is efficacious in the treatment of psoriasis and PsA, with significantly higher numbers of apremilast-treated patients achieving endpoints of a 75% reduction compared to baseline in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI-75) or American College of Rheumatology-20 scores, relative to placebo. This encouraging data, along with a tolerable incidence of mild to moderate adverse events, has led to the initiation of several large Phase III trials that aim to further validate apremilast as a treatment for psoriasis and PsA. Here, we provide an overview of the current treatments for psoriasis and PsA, and summarize the findings from multiple Phase II clinical trials where the effects of apremilast in the treatment of psoriasis and PsA patients have been investigated.
doi:10.2147/DDDT.S32713
PMCID: PMC3615921  PMID: 23569359
apremilast; psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis; phosphodiesterase inhibitor
13.  Epidermal Th22 and Tc17 Cells Form a Localized Disease Memory in Clinically Healed Psoriasis 
Psoriasis is a common and chronic inflammatory skin disease in which T cells play a key role. Effective treatment heals the skin without scarring, but typically psoriasis recurs in previously affected areas. A pathogenic memory within the skin has been proposed, but the nature of such site-specific disease memory is unknown. Tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells have been ascribed a role in immunity after resolved viral skin infections. Because of their localization in the epidermal compartment of the skin, TRM may contribute to tissue pathology during psoriasis. In this study, we investigated whether resolved psoriasis lesions contain TRM cells with the ability to maintain and potentially drive recurrent disease. Three common and effective therapies, narrowband-UVB treatment and long-term biologic treatment systemically inhibiting TNF-α or IL-12/23 signaling were studied. Epidermal T cells were highly activated in psoriasis and a high proportion of CD8 T cells expressed TRM markers. In resolved psoriasis, a population of cutaneous lymphocyte–associated Ag, CCR6, CD103, and IL-23R expressing epidermal CD8 T cells was highly enriched. Epidermal CD8 T cells expressing the TRM marker CD103 responded to ex vivo stimulation with IL-17A production and epidermal CD4 T cells responded with IL-22 production after as long as 6 y of TNF-α inhibition. Our data suggest that epidermal TRM cells are retained in resolved psoriasis and that these cells are capable of producing cytokines with a critical role in psoriasis pathogenesis. We provide a potential mechanism for a site-specific T cell–driven disease memory in psoriasis.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1302313
PMCID: PMC3962894  PMID: 24610014
14.  The active form of MMP-3 is a marker of synovial inflammation and cartilage turnover in inflammatory joint diseases 
Background
Matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) plays an important role in the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Measurement of active MMP-3 in clinical samples could provide information about progression of rheumatoid diseases, and potentially response to treatment. Hence, we aimed to develop a sensitive assay specifically measuring the active form of MMP-3 (act-MMP-3) both in ex vivo models and in human sera.
Methods
A monoclonal antibody against the first 6 amino acids of act-MMP-3 was developed, and the specificity was carefully tested by comparing total and active MMP-3. A technically robust act-MMP-3 ELISA was produced. For biological validation, human synovial membrane and human cartilage explant (HEX) culture models were measured and compared by ELISA and immunoblots. For clinical relevance, the serum levels of act-MMP-3 in AS and RA patients before and after anti-TNF-α treatment were evaluated.
Results
A highly specific and technically robust ELISA detecting act-MMP-3 in serum was developed. The lower limit of detection was 33.7 pg/mL. The dilution and spiking recovery of human serum was within 100 ± 20%. The average intra- and inter-assay variations were 3.1% and 13.5% respectively.
High levels of act-MMP-3 expression were observed in human synovial membrane culture and oncostatin M and TNF-α stimulated human cartilage. In a cross-sectional study of both AS and RA patients, serum act-MMP-3 level was correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). In addition, in patients receiving anti-TNF-α treatment, the serum level of act-MMP-3 was significantly reduced compared to baseline level reflecting the anti-inflammatory effects of the treatment.
Conclusion
We have successfully developed an assay measuring act-MMP-3 in human serum showing correlation to inflammatory markers. Further studies are required to clarify, whether act-MMP-3 can serve as a predictive marker for outcome in chronic rheumatoid disorders.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-93
PMCID: PMC4003863  PMID: 24641725
MMP-3; Active form; Ankylosing spondylitis; Rheumatoid arthritis; Serum
15.  Managing Patients with Psoriatic Disease: The Diagnosis and Pharmacologic Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis in Patients with Psoriasis 
Drugs  2014;74:423-441.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disease. Up to 40 % of patients with psoriasis will go on to develop PsA, usually within 5–10 years of cutaneous disease onset. Both conditions share common pathogenic mechanisms involving genetic and environmental factors. Because psoriasis is typically present for years before PsA-related joint symptoms emerge, dermatologists are in a unique position to detect PsA earlier in the disease process through regular, routine screening of psoriasis patients. Distinguishing clinical features of PsA include co-occurrence of psoriatic skin lesions and nail dystrophy, as well as dactylitis and enthesitis. Patients with PsA are usually seronegative for rheumatoid factor, and radiographs may reveal unique features such as juxta-articular new bone formation and pencil-in-cup deformity. Early treatment of PsA with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs has the potential to slow disease progression and maintain patient quality of life. Optimally, a single therapeutic agent will control both the skin and joint psoriatic symptoms. A number of traditional treatments used to manage psoriasis, such as methotrexate and cyclosporine, are also effective for PsA, but these agents are often inadequately effective, temporary in benefit and associated with significant safety concerns. Biologic anti-tumour necrosis factor agents, such as etanercept, infliximab and adalimumab, are effective for treating patients who have both psoriasis and PsA. However, a substantial number of patients may lose efficacy, have adverse effects or find intravenous or subcutaneous administration inconvenient. Emerging oral treatments, including phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors, such as apremilast, and new biologics targeting interleukin-17, such as secukinumab, brodalumab and ixekizumab, have shown encouraging clinical results in the treatment of psoriasis and/or PsA. Active and regular collaboration of dermatologists with rheumatologists in managing patients who have psoriasis and PsA is likely to yield more optimal control of psoriatic dermal and joint symptoms, and improve long-term patient outcomes.
doi:10.1007/s40265-014-0191-y
PMCID: PMC3958815  PMID: 24566842
16.  The skin tissue is adversely affected by TNF-alpha blockers in patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis: a 5-year prospective analysis 
Clinics  2013;68(9):1189-1196.
OBJECTIVE:
We evaluated the incidence of and the main risk factors associated with cutaneous adverse events in patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis following anti-TNF-α therapy.
METHODS:
A total of 257 patients with active arthritis who were taking TNF-α blockers, including 158 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 87 with ankylosing spondylitis and 12 with psoriatic arthritis, were enrolled in a 5-year prospective analysis. Patients with overlapping or other rheumatic diseases were excluded. Anthropometric, socioeconomic, demographic and clinical data were evaluated, including the Disease Activity Score-28, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index and Psoriasis Area Severity Index. Skin conditions were evaluated by two dermatology experts, and in doubtful cases, skin lesion biopsies were performed. Associations between adverse cutaneous events and clinical, demographic and epidemiological variables were determined using the chi-square test, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify risk factors. The significance level was set at p<0.05.
RESULTS:
After 60 months of follow-up, 71 adverse events (73.85/1000 patient-years) were observed, of which allergic and immune-mediated phenomena were the most frequent events, followed by infectious conditions involving bacterial (47.1%), parasitic (23.5%), fungal (20.6%) and viral (8.8%) agents.
CONCLUSION:
The skin is significantly affected by adverse reactions resulting from the use of TNF-α blockers, and the main risk factors for cutaneous events were advanced age, female sex, a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, disease activity and the use of infliximab.
doi:10.6061/clinics/2013(09)03
PMCID: PMC3782714  PMID: 24141833
TNF-alpha Blockers; Skin; Adverse Events; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Ankylosing Spondylitis
17.  Interleukin-11 therapy selectively downregulates type I cytokine proinflammatory pathways in psoriasis lesions 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;104(11):1527-1537.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease in which epidermal hyperplasia results from skin infiltration by type I T lymphocytes and release of associated cytokines. A multifunctional cytokine, rhIL-11, modulates macrophage and type I T-lymphocyte function in cell culture and shows anti-inflammatory activity in animal models. We are testing subcutaneous delivery of rhIL-11to patients with psoriasis in a phase 1 open-label dose-escalation clinical trial. Tissue was obtained from lesional and uninvolved skin before and during treatment with rhIL-11 and was examined by histology/immunohistochemistry and quantitative RT-PCR. Expression of over 35 genes was examined in all patients, and multiple genetic markers of psoriasis were identified. Expression of numerous proinflammatory genes was elevated in psoriatic tissue compared with nonlesional skin. Seven of 12 patients responded well to rhIL-11 treatment. Amelioration of disease by rhIL-11, as shown by reduced keratinocyte proliferation and cutaneous inflammation, was associated with decreased expression of products of disease-related genes, including K16, iNOS, IFN-γ, IL-8, IL-12, TNF-α, IL-1β, and CD8, and with increased expression of endogenous IL-11. We believe that this is the first study in humans to indicate that type I cytokines can be selectively suppressed by an exogenous immune-modifying therapy. The study highlights the utility of pharmacogenomic monitoring to track patient responsiveness and to elucidate anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
J. Clin. Invest. 104:1527–1537 (1999).
PMCID: PMC409858  PMID: 10587516
18.  Targeted treatment of psoriasis with adalimumab: a critical appraisal based on a systematic review of the literature 
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting 2% to 3% of the population in Western countries. Psoriasis is associated with limited quality of life, cardiovascular disease, and depression. The approval of injectable biological agents has revolutionized the management of moderate to severe psoriasis. Adalimumab is a human monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha approved for moderate-to-severe plaque-type psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). This systematic review summarizes the evidence concerning the efficacy, clinical effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of adalimumab in the treatment of psoriasis. Five randomized controlled trials demonstrated the efficacy of adalimumab in moderate-to-severe plaque-type psoriasis and PsA with PASI-75 response rates of 53% to 80% and ACR-20 response rates of 39% to 58% after 12 to 16 weeks of treatment. In clinical practice patients who have not responded to one TNF antagonist may respond to another TNF antagonist. Adalimumab has similar or better cost-effectiveness than other biologics, but is less efficient than methotrexate and cyclosporine. Adalimumab is generally well tolerated. Patients should be evaluated for active/latent tuberculosis, serious infections, and other contraindications prior to initiation of adalimumab therapy. Future studies should investigate the comparative efficacy of adalimumab and other biologic and prebiologic agents. Recently established registries will yield additional data on the effectiveness and long-term safety of adalimumab.
PMCID: PMC2726069  PMID: 19707417
adalimumab; biologic; efficacy; effectiveness; efficiency; psoriasis; treatment; safety
19.  Assessment of the clinical significance of gelatinase activity in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis using quantitative protein substrate zymography 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2005;65(4):501-507.
Objective
To measure gelatinase activities in paired synovial fluid (SF) and serum of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), and to assess how these activities relate to clinical and laboratory measures of disease activity.
Methods
A quantitative protein substrate zymography method was adapted and validated for use with serum and SF. Bands of activity were measured by densitometry and correlated with standard laboratory indicators of inflammation: erythrocyte sedimentation rate and platelet count.
Results
Gelatinase activity was found consistently in patients with JIA, with reproducible, quantified bands of activity corresponding to pro‐matrix metalloproteinase‐9 (pro‐MMP‐9), including the neutrophil associated lipocalin complex, and pro‐ and active forms of MMP‐2. Both active MMP‐2 and pro‐MMP‐9 were higher in JIA serum than in controls, though no differences were seen between patients grouped according to age, disease duration, or JIA subtype. However, SF MMP‐9 correlated significantly with the laboratory indicators of inflammation, as did the relative level of active MMP‐2.
Conclusions
Both MMP‐2 and MMP‐9 gelatinolytic activities are raised during active JIA and associated with inflammatory activity regardless of age and disease duration, supporting a role for MMPs in the breakdown of joint components from early in disease. These MMPs may be specific markers of active joint destruction linked to inflammatory JIA, MMP‐9 as a product of infiltrating cells, and the activation of MMP‐2 produced within the joint.
doi:10.1136/ard.2005.039032
PMCID: PMC1798108  PMID: 16150790
gelatinase; matrix metalloproteinases; zymogram; juvenile idiopathic arthritis; cartilage
20.  Suppressive effect of secretory phospholipase A2 inhibitory peptide on interleukin-1β-induced matrix metalloproteinase production in rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts, and its antiarthritic activity in hTNFtg mice 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2009;11(5):R138.
Introduction
Secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitors are potent modulators of inflammation with therapeutic potential, but have limited efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The objective of this study was to understand the inhibitory mechanism of phospholipase inhibitor from python (PIP)-18 peptide in cultured synovial fibroblasts (SF), and to evaluate its therapeutic potential in a human tumor necrosis factor (hTNF)-driven transgenic mouse (Tg197) model of arthritis.
Methods
Gene and protein expression of sPLA2-IIA, MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1, and TIMP-2 were analyzed by real time PCR and ELISA respectively, in interleukin (IL)-1β stimulated rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) synovial fibroblasts cells treated with or without inhibitors of sPLA2 (PIP-18, LY315920) or MMPs (MMP Inhibitor II). Phosphorylation status of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) proteins was examined by cell-based ELISA. The effect of PIP-18 was compared with that of celecoxib, methotrexate, infliximab and antiflamin-2 in Tg197 mice after ip administration (thrice weekly for 5 weeks) at two doses (10, 30 mg/kg), and histologic analysis of ankle joints. Serum sPLA2 and cytokines (tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α, IL-6) were measured by Escherichia coli (E coli) assay and ELISA, respectively.
Results
PIP-18 inhibited sPLA2-IIA production and enzymatic activity, and suppressed production of MMPs in IL-1β-induced RA and OA SF cells. Treatment with PIP-18 blocked IL-1β-induced p38 MAPK phosphorylation and resulted in attenuation of sPLA2-IIA and MMP mRNA transcription in RA SF cells. The disease modifying effect of PIP-18 was evidenced by significant abrogation of synovitis, cartilage degradation and bone erosion in hTNF Tg197 mice.
Conclusions
Our results demonstrate the benefit that can be gained from using sPLA2 inhibitory peptide for RA treatment, and validate PIP-18 as a potential therapeutic in a clinically relevant animal model of human arthritis.
doi:10.1186/ar2810
PMCID: PMC2787297  PMID: 19765281
21.  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
22.  Collecting a set of psoriasis family material through a patient organisation; clinical characterisation and presence of additional disorders 
BMC Dermatology  2005;5:10.
Background
The aim of the present study was to describe the clinical characteristics of a population of psoriatics sampled from a patient organisation and not from hospitals or out-patient clinics. Furthermore, we wanted to compare siblings with and without psoriasis regarding the occurrence of other diseases.
Methods
At the end of 1991, we initiated a project which aimed to study genetic factors leading to psoriasis. Firstly, we sent questionnaires to all the members of the Swedish Psoriasis Association. We then examined 1,217 individuals (570 with psoriasis) from 310 families, in their homes in the southern part of Sweden. All the available family members were examined clinically and asked about the course of the skin disease and the occurrence of other diseases. The eight hundred members of the proband generation were divided into two groups, with or without psoriasis, and their clinical features were compared.
Results
Most individuals in this study population had a mild form of psoriasis. The siblings with psoriasis had joint complaints significantly more frequently than their siblings without the skin disease and those with joint complaints had more widespread skin disease. Among the other studied concomitant diseases (iritis, heart or hypertension disease, endocrine disease, inflammatory bowel disease and neurological disease), we were not able to find any difference. Seventy-seven of 570 persons were found to be in remission (13.5%). Females had a mean onset 2.5 years earlier than males. We were not able to find any correlation between the extent of the skin disease and age at onset. Twice as many persons with joint complaints were found among those with psoriasis than among those without, 28% versus 13%. Almost half (48%) the psoriatics who also had joint complaints had psoriasis lesions on their nails. Endocrine disorders were found in 9% of those without any allele for Cw6, but only in 1% of those who had Cw6. In fact, none of 183 Cw6 carriers had diabetes, as compared to the population prevalence of 3–5% in Sweden.
Conclusion
With the exception of joint complaints, persons with psoriasis, collected from a patient organisation, did not have an increased frequency of (studied) co-existing diseases.
doi:10.1186/1471-5945-5-10
PMCID: PMC1266355  PMID: 16225670
23.  Human rheumatoid arthritis tissue production of IL-17A drives matrix and cartilage degradation: synergy with tumour necrosis factor-α, Oncostatin M and response to biologic therapies 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2009;11(4):R113.
Introduction
The aim of this study was to examine IL-17A in patients, following anti-TNF-α therapy and the effect of IL-17A on matrix turnover and cartilage degradation.
Methods
IL-17A expression was examined by ELISA and immunohistology in the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) joints. RA whole synovial tissue explant (RA ST), primary synovial fibroblasts (RASFC), human cartilage and chondrocyte cultures were stimulated with IL-17A +/- TNF-α and Oncostatin M (OSM). Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and tissue inhibitor (TIMP-1) were assessed by ELISA and zymography. Cartilage proteoglycan release was assessed histologically by Safranin-O staining. Clinical parameters, IL-17A, MMP/TIMP were assessed in patients pre/post biologic therapy.
Results
IL-17A levels were higher in RA vs osteoarthritis (OA)/normal joints (P < 0.05). IL-17A up-regulated MMP-1, -2, -9, and -13 in RA ST, RASFC, cartilage and chondrocyte cultures (P < 0.05). In combination with TNF-α and OSM, IL-17A shifted the MMP:TIMP-1 ratio in favor of matrix degradation (all P < 0.05). Cartilage proteoglycan depletion in response to IL-17A was mild; however, in combination with TNF-α or OSM showed almost complete proteoglycan depletion. Serum IL-17A was detected in 28% of patients commencing biologic therapy. IL-17A negative patients demonstrated reductions post therapy in serum MMP1/TIMP4, MMP3/TIMP1 and MMP3/TIMP4 ratios and an increase in CS846 (all P < 0.05). No significant changes were observed in IL-17A positive patients.
Conclusions
IL-17A is produced locally in the inflamed RA joint. IL-17A promotes matrix turnover and cartilage destruction, especially in the presence of other cytokines, mimicking the joint environment. IL-17A levels are modulated in vivo, following anti-TNF therapy, and may reflect changes in matrix turnover.
doi:10.1186/ar2772
PMCID: PMC2745795  PMID: 19627579
24.  TNF-α induces matrix metalloproteinase-9-dependent soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 release via TRAF2-mediated MAPKs and NF-κB activation in osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells 
Background
Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) has been shown to be induced by cytokines including TNF-α and may contribute to bone inflammatory diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying MMP-9 expression induced by TNF-α in MC3T3-E1 cells remain unclear.
Results
We applied gelatin zymography, Western blot, RT-PCR, real-time PCR, selective pharmacological inhibitors of transcription (actinomycin D, Act.D), translation (cycloheximide, CHI), c-Src (PP1), MEK1/2 (U0126), p38 MAPK (SB202190), JNK1/2 (SP600125), and NF-κB (Bay11-7082), respective siRNAs transfection, promoter assay, immunofluorescence staining, and ELISA to investigate the MMP-9 expression and soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1) release induced by TNF-α in MC3T3-E1 cells. Here we demonstrated that TNF-α-induced MMP-9 expression was attenuated by Act.D, CHI, PP1, U0126, SB202190, SP600125, and Bay11-7082, and by the transfection with siRNAs for ERK2, p38 MAPK, and JNK2. TNF-α-stimulated TNFR1, TRAF2, and c-Src complex formation was revealed by immunoprecipitation and Western blot. Furthermore, TNF-α-stimulated NF-κB phosphorylation and translocation were blocked by Bay11-7082, but not by PP1, U0126, SB202190, or SP600125. TNF-α time-dependently induced MMP-9 promoter activity which was also inhibited by PP1, U0126, SB202190, SP600125, or Bay11-7082. Up-regulation of MMP-9 was associated with the release of sICAM-1 into the cultured medium, which was attenuated by the pretreatment with MMP-2/9i, an MMP-9 inhibitor.
Conclusions
In this study, we demonstrated that TNF-α up-regulates MMP-9 expression via c-Src, MAPKs, and NF-κB pathways. In addition, TNF-α-induced MMP-9 expression may contribute to the production of sICAM-1 by MC3T3-E1 cells. The interplay between MMP-9 expression and sICAM-1 release may exert an important role in the regulation of bone inflammatory diseases.
doi:10.1186/1423-0127-21-12
PMCID: PMC3926355  PMID: 24502696
TNF-α; MMP-9; Soluble ICAM-1; MAPKs; Osteoblast-like MC3T3-E1 cells
25.  Proteolytic Activation of Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 in Skin Wound Healing Is Inhibited by α-1-Antichymotrypsin 
An excessive amount of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) has been well documented in inflammatory diseases, including chronic wounds and cancers. Secreted as a zymogen, proMMP-9 can be irreversibly converted to a mature form through cleavage of the N-terminal propeptide domain. Although the converting enzyme for proMMP-9 in human tissues is unknown, we previously found that tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) promotes activation of proMMP-9 in human skin, and characterized the converting activities as tissue-associated chymotrypsin-like proteinases. On the other hand, the pathophysiologic inhibitor to prevent proMMP-9 maturation also remains elusive. In this regard, we observed the presence of the inhibitory property in burn blister fluid that abrogates the skin extract–mediated activation of proMMP-9. Then we determined that α-1-antichymotrypsin (α-ACT), an acute-phase factor abundantly present in the blister, effectively inhibited proMMP-9 activation in human and rodent skin. In contrast, the aminophenylmercuric acetate-induced ‘‘cysteine switch’’ and activation of proMMP-9 were not affected by α-ACT. TNF-α-induced activation of proMMP-9 by the explants of human skin was inhibited by α-ACT but not by related α-1-antitrypsin. α-ACT specifically attenuated maturation of proMMP-9 but not proMMP-2 or proMMP-13. Furthermore, short peptides that mimic the reactive center loop (RCL) of α-ACT were sufficient to inhibit the conversion. Mutation analysis demonstrated that a conserved leucine within the RCL was critical for α-ACT-exerted inhibition. In chronic wounds, a large amount of mature MMP-9 was associated with fragmentation and inactivation of α-ACT. Taken together, these results demonstrate that, to the best of our knowledge, α-ACT is a previously unreported pathophysiologic inhibitor that controls proMMP-9 activation in skin tissue.
doi:10.1038/jid.2008.77
PMCID: PMC2562940  PMID: 18401426

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