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1.  Anti-inflammatory activity and neutrophil reductions mediated by the JAK1/JAK3 inhibitor, CP-690,550, in rat adjuvant-induced arthritis 
The Janus kinase (JAK) family of tyrosine kinases includes JAK1, JAK2, JAK3 and TYK2, and is required for signaling through Type I and Type II cytokine receptors. CP-690,550 is a potent and selective JAK inhibitor currently in clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune disease indications. In RA trials, dose-dependent decreases in neutrophil counts (PBNC) were observed with CP-690,550 treatment. These studies were undertaken to better understand the relationship between JAK selectivity and PBNC decreases observed with CP-690,550 treatment.
Potency and selectivity of CP-690,550 for mouse, rat and human JAKs was evaluated in a panel of in vitro assays. The effect of CP-690,550 on granulopoiesis from progenitor cells was also assessed in vitro using colony forming assays. In vivo the potency of orally administered CP-690,550 on arthritis (paw edema), plasma cytokines, PBNC and bone marrow differentials were evaluated in the rat adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) model.
CP-690,550 potently inhibited signaling through JAK1 and JAK3 with 5-100 fold selectivity over JAK2 in cellular assays, despite inhibiting all four JAK isoforms with nM potency in in vitro enzyme assays. Dose-dependent inhibition of paw edema was observed in vivo with CP-690,550 treatment. Plasma cytokines (IL-6 and IL-17), PBNC, and bone marrow myeloid progenitor cells were elevated in the context of AIA disease. At efficacious exposures, CP-690,550 returned all of these parameters to pre-disease levels. The plasma concentration of CP-690,550 at efficacious doses was above the in vitro whole blood IC50 of JAK1 and JAK3 inhibition, but not that of JAK2.
Results from this investigation suggest that CP-690,550 is a potent inhibitor of JAK1 and JAK3 with potentially reduced cellular potency for JAK2. In rat AIA, as in the case of human RA, PBNC were decreased at efficacious exposures of CP-690,550. Inflammatory end points were similarly reduced, as judged by attenuation of paw edema and cytokines IL-6 and IL-17. Plasma concentration at these exposures was consistent with inhibition of JAK1 and JAK3 but not JAK2. Decreases in PBNC following CP-690,550 treatment may thus be related to attenuation of inflammation and are likely not due to suppression of granulopoiesis through JAK2 inhibition.
PMCID: PMC2928212  PMID: 20701804
2.  Investigation of the role of endosomal Toll-like receptors in murine collagen-induced arthritis reveals a potential role for TLR7 in disease maintenance 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(3):R142.
Endosomal toll-like receptors (TLRs) have recently emerged as potential contributors to the inflammation observed in human and rodent models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aims to evaluate the role of endosomal TLRs and in particular TLR7 in the murine collagen induced arthritis (CIA) model.
CIA was induced by injection of collagen in complete Freund's adjuvant. To investigate the effect of endosomal TLRs in the CIA model, mianserin was administered daily from the day of disease onset. The specific role of TLR7 was examined by inducing CIA in TLR7-deficient mice. Disease progression was assessed by measuring clinical score, paw swelling, serum anti-collagen antibodies histological parameters, cytokine production and the percentage of T regulatory (Treg) cells.
Therapeutic administration of mianserin to arthritic animals demonstrated a highly protective effect on paw swelling and joint destruction. TLR7-/- mice developed a mild arthritis, where the clinical score and paw swelling were significantly compromised in comparison to the control group. The amelioration of arthritis by mianserin and TLR7 deficiency both corresponded with a reduction in IL-17 responses, histological and clinical scores, and paw swelling.
These data highlight the potential role for endosomal TLRs in the maintenance of inflammation in RA and support the concept of a role for TLR7 in experimental arthritis models. This study also illustrates the potential benefit that may be afforded by therapeutically inhibiting the endosomal TLRs in RA.
PMCID: PMC3446525  PMID: 22691272
3.  A highly selective, orally active inhibitor of Janus kinase 2, CEP-33779, ablates disease in two mouse models of rheumatoid arthritis 
Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) is involved in the downstream activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and STAT5 and is responsible for transducing signals for several proinflammatory cytokines involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), including interleukin (IL)-6, interferon γ (IFNγ) and IL-12. In this paper, we describe the efficacy profile of CEP-33779, a highly selective, orally active, small-molecule inhibitor of JAK2 evaluated in two mouse models of RA.
Collagen antibody-induced arthritis (CAIA) and collagen type II (CII)-induced arthritis (CIA) were established before the oral administration of a small-molecule JAK2 inhibitor, CEP-33779, twice daily at 10 mg/kg, 30 mg/kg, 55 mg/kg or 100 mg/kg over a period of 4 to 8 weeks.
Pharmacodynamic inhibition of JAK2 reduced mean paw edema and clinical scores in both CIA and CAIA models of arthritis. Reduction in paw cytokines (IL-12, IFNγ and tumor necrosis factor α) and serum cytokines (IL-12 and IL-2) correlated with reduced spleen CII-specific T helper 1 cell frequencies as measured by ex vivo IFNγ enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay. Both models demonstrated histological evidence of disease amelioration upon treatment (for example, reduced matrix erosion, subchondral osteolysis, pannus formation and synovial inflammation) and reduced paw phosphorylated STAT3 levels. No changes in body weight or serum anti-CII autoantibody titers were observed in either RA model.
This study demonstrates the utility of using a potent and highly selective, orally bioavailable JAK2 inhibitor for the treatment of RA. Using a selective inhibitor of JAK2 rather than pan-JAK inhibitors avoids the potential complication of immunosuppression while targeting critical signaling pathways involved in autoimmune disease progression.
PMCID: PMC3132063  PMID: 21510883
4.  CP-690550 Treatment Ameliorates Established Disease and Provides Long-Term Therapeutic Effects in an SKG Arthritis Model 
Immune Network  2013;13(6):257-263.
Although pathogenesis of human rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remains unclear, arthritogenic T cells and downstream signaling mediators have been shown to play critical roles. An increasing numbers of therapeutic options have been added for the effective control of RA. Nevertheless, there is still a category of patients that fails treatment and suffers from progressive disease. The recently developed immunosuppressant CP-690550, a small molecule JAK kinase inhibitor, has been implicated as an important candidate treatment modality for autoimmune arthritis. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic effect of CP-690550 on established arthritis using an SKG arthritis model, a pathophysiologically relevant animal model for human RA. CP-690550 treatment revealed remarkable long-term suppressive effects on SKG arthritis when administered to the well-advanced disease (clinical score 3.5~4.0). The treatment effect lasted at least 3 more weeks after cessation of drug infusion, and suppression of disease was correlated with the reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-17, IFN-γ, and IL-6 and increased level of immunoregulatory IL-10.
PMCID: PMC3875784  PMID: 24385944
Rheumatoid arthritis; CP-690550; SKG mice; IL-17; IL-10
5.  CP690,550 inhibits oncostatin M-induced JAK/STAT signaling pathway in rheumatoid synoviocytes 
Interleukin (IL)-6-type cytokines exert their effects through activation of the Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling cascade. The JAK/STAT pathways play an important role in rheumatoid arthritis, since JAK inhibitors have exhibited dramatic effects on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in clinical trials. In this study, we investigated the molecular effects of a small molecule JAK inhibitor, CP690,550 on the JAK/STAT signaling pathways and examined the role of JAK kinases in rheumatoid synovitis.
Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) were isolated from RA patients and stimulated with recombinant oncostatin M (OSM). The cellular supernatants were analyzed using cytokine protein chips. IL-6 mRNA and protein expression were analyzed by real-time PCR method and ELISA, respectively. Protein phosphorylation of rheumatoid synoviocytes was assessed by Western blot using phospho-specific antibodies.
OSM was found to be a potent inducer of IL-6 in FLS. OSM stimulation elicited rapid phosphorylation of STATs suggesting activation of the JAK/STAT pathway in FLS. CP690,550 pretreatment completely abrogated the OSM-induced production of IL-6, as well as OSM-induced JAK/STAT, and activation of mitogen-activated kinases (MAPKs) in FLS.
These findings suggest that IL-6-type cytokines contribute to rheumatoid synovitis through activation of the JAK/STAT pathway in rheumatoid synoviocytes. Inhibition of these pro-inflammatory signaling pathways by CP690,550 could be important in the treatment of RA.
PMCID: PMC3218881  PMID: 21548952
6.  Effects of Calcium Gluconate, a Water Soluble Calcium Salt on the Collagen-Induced DBA/1J Mice Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2013;21(4):290-298.
This study examined the effects of calcium (Ca) gluconate on collagen-induced DBA mouse rheumatoid arthritis (CIA). A single daily dose of 200, 100 or 50 mg/kg Ca gluconate was administered orally to male DBA/1J mice for 40 days after initial collagen immunization. To ascertain the effects administering the collagen booster, CIA-related features (including body weight, poly-arthritis, knee and paw thickness, and paw weight increase) were measured from histopathological changes in the spleen, left popliteal lymph node, third digit and the knee joint regions. CIA-related bone and cartilage damage improved significantly in the Ca gluconate- administered CIA mice. Additionally, myeloperoxidase (MPO) levels in the paw were reduced in Ca gluconate-treated CIA mice compared to CIA control groups. The level of malondialdehyde (MDA), an indicator of oxidative stress, decreased in a dosedependent manner in the Ca gluconate group. Finally, the production of IL-6 and TNF-α, involved in rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis, were suppressed by treatment with Ca gluconate. Taken together, these results suggest that Ca gluconate is a promising candidate anti-rheumatoid arthritis agent, exerting anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and immunomodulatory effects in CIA mice.
PMCID: PMC3819902  PMID: 24244814
Calcium gluconate; Rheumatoid arthritis; Anti-inflammation; Anti-oxidation; Immunomodulation
7.  Regulation of Inflammatory Responses in Tumor Necrosis Factor - Activated and Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Macrophages by Janus Kinase Inhibitors 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2012;64(12):3856-3866.
Inhibitors of the Janus kinases (JAKs) have been developed as anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents and are currently undergoing testing in clinical trials. The JAK inhibitors CP-690,550 (tofacitinib) and INCB018424 (ruxolitinib) have demonstrated clinical efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the mechanisms that mediate the beneficial actions of these compounds are not known. In this study, we examined the effects of both JAK inhibitors on inflammatory and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) responses in human macrophages (MΦs).
In vitro studies were performed with peripheral blood MΦs from healthy donors treated with TNF and synovial fluid MΦs from patients with RA. Levels of activated signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) proteins and other transcription factors were detected by Western blot, and gene expression was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction. In vivo effects of JAK inhibitors were evaluated in the K/BxN serum-transfer model of arthritis.
JAK inhibitors suppressed activation and expression of STAT1 and downstream inflammatory target genes in TNF-stimulated and RA synovial macrophages. In addition, JAK inhibitors decreased nuclear localization of NF-κB subunits in TNF-stimulated and RA synovial macrophages. CP-690,550 significantly decreased IL6 expression in synovial MΦs. JAK inhibitors augmented nuclear levels of NFATc1 and cJun, followed by increased formation of osteoclast-like cells. CP-690,550 strongly suppressed K/BxN arthritis that is dependent on macrophages but not on lymphocytes.
Our findings demonstrate that JAK inhibitors suppress macrophage activation and attenuate TNF responses, and suggest that suppression of cytokine/chemokine production and innate immunity contributes to the therapeutic efficacy of JAK inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3510320  PMID: 22941906
macrophages; TNF; STAT1; rheumatoid arthritis; JAK inhibitors
8.  Effect of the oral application of a highly selective MMP-13 inhibitor in three different animal models of rheumatoid arthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2009;69(5):898-902.
To evaluate the decrease of cartilage destruction by a novel orally active and specific matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP-13) inhibitor in three different animal models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Materials and methods
The SCID mouse co-implantation model of RA, the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model in mice and the antigen-induced arthritis model (AIA) in rabbits were used.
In the SCID mouse co-implantation model, the MMP-13 inhibitor reduced cartilage destruction by 75%. In the CIA model of RA, the MMP-13 inhibitor resulted in a significant and dose-dependent decrease in clinical symptoms as well as of cartilage erosion by 38% (30 mg/kg), 28% (10 mg/kg) and 21% (3 mg/kg). No significant effects were seen in the AIA model. No toxic effects were seen in all three animal models.
Although several MMPs in concert with other proteinases have a role in the process of cartilage destruction, there is a need for highly selective MMP inhibitors to reduce severe side effects that occur with non-specific inhibitors. Significant inhibition of MMP-13 reduced cartilage erosions in two of three tested animal models of RA. These results strongly support the development of this class of drugs to reduce or halt joint destruction in patients with RA.
PMCID: PMC2925150  PMID: 19497915
9.  Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor exacerbates collagen induced arthritis in mice 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1997;56(6):364-368.
OBJECTIVE—To examine the effect of granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) on disease progression in the collagen induced arthritis (CIA) model in mice.
METHODS—DBA/1 mice were primed for a suboptimal CIA response by intradermal injection of chick type II collagen without a secondary immunisation. Three weeks after immunisation the mice were given four to five consecutive daily intraperitoneal injections of recombinant murine GM-CSF (15 µg; 5 × 105 U), or vehicle, and arthritis development was monitored by clinical scoring of paws and calliper measurements of footpad swelling. At approximately six to eight weeks after immunisation mice were killed, their limbs removed and processed for histological analyses of joint pathology.
RESULTS—Control animals receiving a single immunisation with collagen exhibited a varied CIA response both in terms of incidence and severity. Mice treated with GM-CSF at 20 to 25 days after immunisation with collagen had a consistently greater incidence and more rapid onset of disease than the vehicle treated control mice, based on clinical assessment. GM-CSF treated mice showed higher average clinical scores and greater paw swelling than controls. Histological analyses of joints reflected the clinical scores with GM-CSF treated mice displaying more pronounced pathology (synovitis, pannus formation, cartilage and bone damage) than control mice.
CONCLUSION—GM-CSF is a potent accelerator of the pathological events leading to chronic inflammatory polyarthritis in murine CIA supporting the notion that GM-CSF may play a part in inflammatory polyarthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

PMCID: PMC1752394  PMID: 9227165
10.  Cystatin C influences the autoimmune but not inflammatory response to cartilage type II collagen leading to chronic arthritis development 
Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) is a mouse model for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is induced after immunization with type II collagen (CII). CIA, like RA, is an autoimmune disease leading to destruction of cartilage and joints, and both the priming and inflammatory phases have been suggested to be dependent on proteases. In particular, the cysteine proteases have been proposed to be detrimental to the arthritic process and even immunomodulatory. A natural inhibitor of cysteine proteases is cystatin C.
Cystatin C-deficient, sufficient and heterozygous mice were tested for onset, incidence and severity of CIA. The effect of cystatin C-deficiency was further dissected by testing the inflammatory effector phase of CIA; that is, collagen antibody-induced arthritis model and priming phase, that is, T cell response both in vivo and in vitro. In addition, in order to determine the importance of T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs), these cell populations were separated and in vitro T cell responses determined in a mixed co-culture system. Finally, flow cytometry was used in order to further characterize cell populations in cystatin C-deficient mice.
Here, we show that mice lacking cystatin C, develop arthritis at a higher incidence and an earlier onset than wild-type controls. Interestingly, when the inflammatory phase of CIA was examined independently from immune priming then cystatin C-deficiency did not enhance the arthritis profile. However, in line with the enhanced CIA, there was an increased T cell and B cell response as delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction and anti-CII antibody titers were elevated in the cystatin C-deficient mice after immunization. In addition, the ex vivo naïve APCs from cystatin C-deficient mice had a greater capacity to stimulate T cells. Interestingly, dendritic cells had a more activated phenotype in naïve cystatin C-deficient mice.
The lack of cystatin C enhances CIA and primarily affects in vivo priming of the immune system. Although the mechanism of this is still unknown, we show evidence for a more activated APC compartment, which would elevate the autoimmune response towards CII, thus resulting in an enhanced development of chronic arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3132044  PMID: 21443774
11.  Modulation of Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses by Tofacitinib (CP-690,550) 
Inhibitors of the JAK family of non-receptor tyrosine kinases have demonstrated clinical efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory disorders; however, the precise mechanisms by which JAK inhibition improves inflammatory immune responses remain unclear. Here we examined the mode of action of tofacitinib (CP-690,550) on JAK/STAT signaling pathways involved in adaptive and innate immune responses. To determine the extent of inhibition of specific JAK/STAT-dependent pathways, we analyzed cytokine stimulation of mouse and human T cells in vitro. We also investigated the consequences of CP-690,550 treatment on Th cell differentiation of naïve murine CD4+ T cells. CP-690,550 inhibited IL-4-dependent Th2 cell differentiation, and interestingly also interfered with Th17 cell differentiation. Expression of IL-23 receptor and of the Th17 cytokines IL-17A, IL-17F and IL-22 were blocked when naïve Th cells were stimulated with IL-6 and IL-23. In contrast, IL-17A-production was enhanced when Th17 cells were differentiated in the presence of TGF-β. Moreover, CP-690,550 also prevented activation of STAT1, induction of T-bet and subsequent generation of Th1 cells. In a model of established arthritis, CP-690,550 rapidly improved disease by inhibiting production of inflammatory mediators and suppressing STAT1-dependent genes in joint tissue. Furthermore, efficacy in this disease model correlated with inhibition of both JAK1 and JAK3 signaling pathways. CP-690,550 also modulated innate responses to LPS in vivo through a mechanism likely involving inhibition of STAT1 signaling. Thus, CP-690,550 may improve autoimmune diseases and prevent transplant rejection by suppressing the differentiation of pathogenic Th1 and Th17 cells, as well as innate immune cell signaling.
PMCID: PMC3108067  PMID: 21383241
12.  Inhibitory effects of the JAK inhibitor CP690,550 on human CD4+ T lymphocyte cytokine production 
BMC Immunology  2011;12:51.
The new JAK3 inhibitor, CP690,550, has shown efficacy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The present study was undertaken to assess the effects of CP690,550 on cytokine production and cellular signaling in human CD4+ T cells.
CD4+ T cells produced IL-2, IL-4, IL-17, IL-22 and IFN-γ in following stimulation with a CD3 antibody. At the optimal concentration, CP690,550 almost completely inhibited the production of IL-4, IL-17, IL-22 and IFN-γ from these activated CD4+ T cells, but only had marginal effects on IL-2 production. Moreover CP690,550 inhibited anti-CD3-induced phosphorylation of STAT1, STAT3, STAT4, STAT5, and STAT6, but not the TCR-associated phosphorylation of ZAP-70.
Therefore, CP690,550-mediated modification of the JAK/STAT pathway may be a new immunosuppressive strategy in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
PMCID: PMC3179939  PMID: 21884580
CP690; 550; cytokines; Janus kinase; signal transducers and activators of transcription; T lymphocytes
13.  Angiogenesis inhibition suppresses collagen arthritis 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1992;175(4):1135-1138.
Neovascularization is observed in a spectrum of diseases such as solid tumors, diabetic retinopathy, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also evident in rat collage-induced arthritis (CIA), an animal model with histologic, clinical, and radiographic manifestations resembling rheumatoid arthritis. To evaluate the effects of angioinhibition in CIA, Louvain rats were immunized with type II collagen to induce arthritis and then administered an angiogenesis inhibitor, AGM-1470, in an attempt to either prevent arthritis or suppress established disease. Using clinical and radiographic criteria, AGM-1470 prevented CIA and significantly suppressed established disease without evidence of immunosuppression. Histologic sections from control ankle joints manifested pannus and neovascularization, which were absent in experimental animals. This is the first study to investigate this novel agent in an autoimmune disease, and additional evaluation of this promising compound in other diseases that are potentially angiogenesis dependent, such as rheumatoid arthritis, might be warranted.
PMCID: PMC2119184  PMID: 1372645
14.  Muscle wasting associated with pathologic change is a risk factor for the exacerbation of joint swelling in collagen-induced arthritis in cynomolgus monkeys 
Not only joint destruction but also muscle wasting due to rheumatoid cachexia has been problem in terms of quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In the present study, we performed histopathological examination and assessed relationships between characteristic parameters relating to muscle and joint swelling in a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model using cynomolgus monkeys (CMs).
Female CMs were used and CIA was induced by twice immunizations using bovine type II collagen with Freund’s complete adjuvant. Arthritis level was evaluated from the degree of swelling at the peripheral joints of the fore and hind limbs. Food consumption, body weight, and serum biochemical parameters were measured sequentially. Five or 6 animals per time point were sacrificed at 2, 3, 5 and 9 weeks after the first immunization to obtain quadriceps femoris specimens for histopathology. Pimonidazole hydrochloride was intravenously administered to determine tissue hypoxia in skeletal muscle.
Gradual joint swelling was observed and the maximum arthritis score was noted at Week 5. In histopathology, necrosis of muscle fiber in the quadriceps femoris was observed only at Week 2 and the most significant findings such as degeneration, atrophy, and regeneration of muscle fiber were mainly observed at Week 5. Food consumption was decreased up to Week 4 but recovered thereafter. Body weight decreased up to Week 5 and did not completely recover thereafter. A biphasic increase in serum cortisol was also observed at Weeks 2 and 5. Histopathology showed that muscle lesions were mainly composed of degeneration and atrophy of the muscle fibers, and ATPase staining revealed that the changes were more pronounced in type II muscle fiber than type I muscle fiber. In the pimonidazole experiment, mosaic pattern in skeletal muscle was demonstrated in the intact animal, but not the CIA animal. Increased arthritis score was accompanied by a decrease in serum creatinine, a marker that reflects muscle mass.
Muscle wasting might exacerbate joint swelling in a collagen-induced arthritis model of cynomolgus monkeys.
PMCID: PMC3710207  PMID: 23834772
Collagen-induced arthritis; Rheumatoid arthritis; Cynomolgus monkey; Muscle wasting; Hypoxia; Steroid; Histopathology; Muscle
15.  Porphyromonas gingivalis oral infection exacerbates the development and severity of collagen-induced arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R186.
Clinical studies suggest a direct influence of periodontal disease (PD) on serum inflammatory markers and disease assessment of patients with established rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the influence of PD on arthritis development remains unclear. This investigation was undertaken to determine the contribution of chronic PD to immune activation and development of joint inflammation using the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model.
DBA1/J mice orally infected with Porphyromonas gingivalis were administered with collagen II (CII) emulsified in complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) or incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (IFA) to induce arthritis. Arthritis development was assessed by visual scoring of paw swelling, caliper measurement of the paws, mRNA expression, paw micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) analysis, histology, and tartrate resistant acid phosphatase for osteoclast detection (TRAP)-positive immunohistochemistry. Serum and reactivated splenocytes were evaluated for cytokine expression.
Mice induced for PD and/or arthritis developed periodontal disease, shown by decreased alveolar bone and alteration of mRNA expression in gingival tissues and submandibular lymph nodes compared to vehicle. P. gingivalis oral infection increased paw swelling and osteoclast numbers in mice immunized with CFA/CII. Arthritis incidence and severity were increased by P. gingivalis in mice that received IFA/CII immunizations. Increased synovitis, bone erosions, and osteoclast numbers in the paws were observed following IFA/CII immunizations in mice infected with P gingivalis. Furthermore, cytokine analysis showed a trend toward increased serum Th17/Th1 ratios when P. gingivalis infection was present in mice receiving either CFA/CII or IFA/CII immunizations. Significant cytokine increases induced by P. gingivalis oral infection were mostly associated to Th17-related cytokines of reactivated splenic cells, including IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-22 in the CFA/CII group and IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, transforming growth factor-β, IL-6 and IL-23 in the IFA/CII group.
Chronic P. gingivalis oral infection prior to arthritis induction increases the immune system activation favoring Th17 cell responses, and ultimately accelerating arthritis development. These results suggest that chronic oral infection may influence RA development mainly through activation of Th17-related pathways.
PMCID: PMC3979094  PMID: 24456966
16.  Characterization of the T cell receptor repertoire causing collagen arthritis in mice 
Collagen type II-induced arthritis (CIA) is generated in susceptible rodent strains by intradermal injections of homologous or heterologous native type II collagen in complete Freund's adjuvant. Symptoms of CIA are analogous to those of the human autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis. CIA is a model system for T cell-mediated autoimmune disease. To study the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of bovine type II-specific T cells that may be involved in the pathogenesis of CIA in DBA/1Lac.J (H-2q) mice, 13 clonally distinct T cell hybridomas specific for bovine type II collagen have been established and the alpha and beta chains of their TCRs have been analyzed. These T cell hybridomas recognize epitopes that are shared by type II collagens from distinct species and not by type I collagens, and exhibit a highly restricted TCR-alpha/beta repertoire. The alpha chains of the TCRs employ three V alpha gene subfamilies (V alpha 11, V alpha 8, and V alpha 22) and four J alpha gene segments (J alpha 42, J alpha 24, J alpha 37, and J alpha 32). The V alpha 22 is a newly identified subfamily consisting of approximately four to six members, and exhibits a high degree of polymorphism among four mouse strains of distinct V alpha haplotypes. In addition, the beta chains of the TCRs employ three V beta gene subfamilies (V beta 8, V beta 1, and V beta 6), however the V beta 8.2 gene segment is preferentially utilized (58.3%). In contrast, the J beta gene segment usage is more heterogeneous. On the basis of the highly limited TCR-alpha/beta repertoire of the TCRs of the panel of bovine type II-specific T cell hybrid clones, a significant reduction (60%) of the incidence of arthritis in DBA/1Lac.J mice is accomplished by the use of anti-V beta 8.2 antibody therapy.
PMCID: PMC2190910  PMID: 8381155
17.  Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Licorice and Roasted Licorice Extracts on TPA-Induced Acute Inflammation and Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Mice 
The anti-inflammatory activity of licorice (LE) and roated licorice (rLE) extracts determined in the murine phorbol ester-induced acute inflammation model and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model of human rheumatoid arthritis. rLE possessed greater activity than LE in inhibiting phorbol ester-induced ear edema. Oral administration of LE or rLE reduced clinical arthritis score, paw swelling, and histopathological changes in a murine CIA. LE and rLE decreased the levels of proinflammatory cytokines in serum and matrix metalloproteinase-3 expression in the joints. Cell proliferation and cytokine secretion in response to type II collagen or lipopolysaccharide stimulation were suppressed in spleen cells from LE or rLE-treated CIA mice. Furthermore, LE and rLE treatment prevented oxidative damages in liver and kidney tissues of CIA mice. Taken together, LE and rLE have benefits in protecting against both acute inflammation and chronic inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. rLE may inhibit the acute inflammation more potently than LE.
PMCID: PMC2841253  PMID: 20300198
18.  Effects of collagen-induced rheumatoid arthritis on amyloidosis and microvascular pathology in APP/PS1 mice 
BMC Neuroscience  2011;12:106.
Evidence suggests that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may enhance or reduce the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The present study was performed to directly explore the effects of collagen-induced rheumatoid arthritis (CIA) on amyloid plaque formation, microglial activation, and microvascular pathology in the cortex and hippocampus of the double transgenic APP/PS1 mouse model for AD. Wild-type or APP/PS1 mice that received type II collagen (CII) in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) at 2 months of age revealed characteristics of RA, such as joint swelling, synovitis, and cartilage and bone degradation 4 months later. Joint pathology was accompanied by sustained induction of IL-1β and TNF-α in plasma over 4 weeks after administration of CII in CFA.
CIA reduced levels of soluble and insoluble amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides and amyloid plaque formation in the cortex and hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice, which correlated with increased blood brain barrier disruption, Iba-1-positive microglia, and CD45-positive microglia/macrophages. In contrast, CIA reduced vessel density and length with features of microvascular pathology, including vascular segments, thinner vessels, and atrophic string vessels.
The present findings suggest that RA may exert beneficial effects against Aβ burden and harmful effects on microvascular pathology in AD.
PMCID: PMC3217907  PMID: 22029666
19.  Bile Salt-Stimulated Lipase Plays an Unexpected Role in Arthritis Development in Rodents 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47006.
The present study aimed to explore the hypothesis that bile salt-stimulated lipase (BSSL), in addition to being a key enzyme in dietary fat digestion during early infancy, plays an important role in inflammation, notably arthritis.
Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and pristane-induced arthritis (PIA) in rodents are commonly used experimental models that reproduce many of the pathogenic mechanisms of human rheumatoid arthritis, i.e. increased cellular infiltration, synovial hyperplasia, pannus formation, and erosion of cartilage and bone in the distal joints. We used the CIA model to compare the response in BSSL wild type (BSSL-WT) mice with BSSL-deficient ‘knock-out’ (BSSL-KO) and BSSL-heterozygous (BSSL-HET) littermates. We also investigated if intraperitoneal injection of BSSL-neutralizing antibodies affected the development or severity of CIA and PIA in mice and rats, respectively.
In two consecutive studies, we found that BSSL-KO male mice, in contrast to BSSL-WT littermates, were significantly protected from developing arthritis. We also found that BSSL-HET mice were less prone to develop disease compared to BSSL-WT mice, but not as resistant as BSSL-KO mice, suggesting a gene-dose effect. Moreover, we found that BSSL-neutralizing antibody injection reduced both the incidence and severity of CIA and PIA in rodents.
Our data strongly support BSSL as a key player in the inflammatory process, at least in rodents. It also suggests the possibility that BSSL-neutralizing agents could serve as a therapeutic model to reduce the inflammatory response in humans.
PMCID: PMC3469624  PMID: 23071697
20.  Population pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic–disease progression model for effects of anakinra in Lewis rats with collagen-induced arthritis 
A population pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic–disease progression (PK/PD/DIS) model was developed to characterize the effects of anakinra in collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) rats and explore the role of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in rheumatoid arthritis. The CIA rats received either vehicle, or anakinra at 100 mg/kg for about 33 h, 100 mg/kg for about 188 h, or 10 mg/kg for about 188 h by subcutaneous infusion. Plasma concentrations of anakinra were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Swelling of rat hind paws was measured. Population PK/PD/DIS parameters were computed for the various groups using non-linear mixed-effects modeling software (NONMEM® Version VI). The final model was assessed using visual predictive checks and nonparameter stratified bootstrapping. A two-compartment PK model with two sequential absorption processes and linear elimination was used to capture PK profiles of anakinra. A transduction-based feedback model incorporating logistic growth rate captured disease progression and indirect response model I captured drug effects. The PK and paw swelling versus time profiles in CIA rats were fitted well. Anakinra has modest effects (Imax = 0.28) on paw edema in CIA rats. The profiles are well-described by our PK/PD/DIS model which provides a basis for future mechanism-based assessment of anakinra dynamics in rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3407879  PMID: 22002845
Anakinra; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; Rheumatoid arthritis; Population model
21.  TNF receptor gene therapy results in suppression of IgG2a anticollagen antibody in collagen induced arthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2003;62(8):707-714.
Background: Therapeutic strategies to block tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) activity in experimental autoimmune arthritis models and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have proved highly successful, and provide sustained beneficial effects.
Objective: To examine whether TNFα inhibition has immunological activity beyond the reduction of inflammation in collagen induced arthritis (CIA), an established experimental model of RA.
Methods: Arthritic DBA/1 mice received single periarticular injections of retroviral constructs encoding human TNF receptor (TNF-R) into the affected arthritic paw, at the onset of arthritis. Severity of arthritis, antibodies to collagen type II (CII), and extent of pathological joint damage of arthritic paws were compared between TNF-R and media treated (control) animals 3, 7, 14, 21, and 49 days after disease onset.
Results: Severity of CIA was significantly decreased in TNF-R treated animals compared with controls, 14–34 days after disease onset. Joint destruction was reduced in TNF-R injected joints and in the uninjected contralateral and ipsilateral paws of TNF-R treated animals. Seven days after disease onset, TNF-R treated mice had lower levels of inflammatory Th1 driven IgG2a antibodies to CII (p<0.05) than controls. This altered the anticollagen IgG2a:IgG1 ratio towards Th2 driven IgG1.
Conclusions: Local TNF-R gene therapy in CIA appears to have systemic effects on the anti-CII antibodies. The overall influence of TNF-R gene therapy is that it inhibits the progression of CIA mainly by suppressing the inflammatory Th1 response rather than by stimulating a Th2 response. Therefore, periarticular TNF-R gene therapy may have excellent therapeutic potential in RA.
PMCID: PMC1754640  PMID: 12860724
22.  Methionine aminopeptidase-2 blockade reduces chronic collagen-induced arthritis: potential role for angiogenesis inhibition 
The enzyme methionine aminopeptidase-2 (MetAP-2) is thought to play an important function in human endothelial cell proliferation, and as such provides a valuable target in both inflammation and cancer. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease associated with increased synovial vascularity, and hence is a potential therapeutic target for angiogenesis inhibitors. We examined the use of PPI-2458, a selective non-reversible inhibitor of MetAP-2, in disease models of RA, namely acute and chronic collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice. Whilst acute CIA is a monophasic disease, CIA induced with murine collagen type II manifests as a chronic relapsing arthritis and mimics more closely the disease course of RA. Our study showed PPI-2458 was able to reduce clinical signs of arthritis in both acute and chronic CIA models. This reduction in arthritis was paralleled by decreased joint inflammation and destruction. Detailed mechanism of action studies demonstrated that PPI-2458 inhibited human endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis in vitro, without affecting production of inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, we also investigated release of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines from human RA synovial cell cultures, and observed no effect of PPI-2458 on spontaneous expression of cytokines and chemokines, or indeed on the angiogenic molecule vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). These results highlight MetAP-2 as a good candidate for therapeutic intervention in RA.
PMCID: PMC2246249  PMID: 18072970
23.  The adaptor protein CIKS/Act1 is necessary to induce collagen-induced arthritis pathology and it contributes to collagen-specific antibody production 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2010;62(11):3334-3344.
CIKS/Act1 is an adaptor molecule necessary for signaling by members of the IL-17 cytokine family. Here we aim to determine whether this adaptor is required for collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). If required, CIKS-mediated signaling could be a potential target for therapeutic intervention in rheumatoid arthritis.
CIA model studies were performed with CIKS deficient and sufficient mice on an otherwise wild-type C57BL/6 background or on a background lacking FcγRIIb. In addition, wild-type and CIKS deficient mice were subjected to collagen-antibody induced arthritis (CAIA) studies. Arthritis pathology was determined by visual inspection of the paws, by histochemical analysis of tissue sections and by measurements of collagen-specific antibodies.
Arthritis pathology could be readily induced with the CIA model in wild-type mice and pathology was exacerbated in FcγRIIb-deficient mice. In contrast, CIKS deficient mice were protected from all aspects of CIA pathology, even in FcγRIIb deficient mice. The absence of CIKS completely prevented neutrophil infiltration into joints, bone erosion and cartilage damage; furthermore, production of collagen type 2-specific antibodies (CII-Abs) was reduced. In contrast to the CIA model, CIKS deficient mice remained susceptible to arthritis induced with the CAIA model.
CIKS-mediated signaling is necessary for the pathogenesis in the CIA model, but not in the CAIA model. These findings suggest critical functions of CIKS during the development of arthritis in the CIA model, including in the formation of CII-Abs, and they mark the CIKS adaptor as a potential therapeutic target in RA.
PMCID: PMC2970656  PMID: 20662069
Collagen-Induced Arthritis; Interleukin 17; Signal Transduction; Antibody Production
24.  Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Disease Progression Model for Effect of Etanercept in Lewis Rats with Collagen-Induced Arthritis 
Pharmaceutical research  2011;28(7):1622-1630.
To develop a pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic disease progression (PK/PD/DIS) model to characterize the effect of etanercept in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) progression.
The CIA rats received either 5 mg/kg intravenous (IV), 1 mg/kg IV, or 5 mg/kg subcutaneous (SC) etanercept at day 21 post-disease induction. Effect on disease progression was measured by paw swelling. Plasma concentrations of etanercept were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). PK profiles were fitted first; parameter estimates were applied to fit paw edema data for PD and DIS-related parameter estimation using ADAPT 5 software.
The model contained a two-compartment PK model with Michaelis-Menten elimination. For SC administration, two additional mathematical functions for absorption were added. The disease progression component was an indirect response model with a time-dependent change in paw edema production rate constant (kin) assumed to be inhibited by etanercept.
Etanercept has modest effects on paw swelling in CIA rats. The PK and PD profiles were well described by the developed PK/PD/DIS model, which may be used for other anti-cytokine biologic agents for RA.
PMCID: PMC3726066  PMID: 21360252
arthritis; etanercept; model; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics
25.  The Effect of Human Placental Extract on Rheumatoid Arthritis in an Animal Model 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2012;36(2):197-206.
To assess the efficacy of human placental extract (HPE) in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
We used (i) KRN C57BL/6 TCR transgenic x NOD mice (KBx/N) serum transfer arthritis and (ii) collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice to evaluate the effi cacy of HPE (1 ul or 100 ul, intra-peritoneal, three times per week) on RA. Incidence, severity of arthritis, and hind-paw thickness were quantifi ed. Joint destruction was analyzed using modifi ed mammographic imaging. Histopathological analysis for inflammation, cartilage, and osteoclasts was performed using Hematoxylin-eosin (H-E), safranin-O, and tartrate-resistant acidic phosphatase (TRAP). ELISAs were used for detection of various cytokines in serum and joint tissue.
There were no significant differences in incidence of arthritis, clinical scores of arthritis, and hind-paw thickness between HPE-treated and vehicle-treated groups for up to 2 weeks in the KBx/N serum transfer arthritis model. Histopathological analysis also showed no differences 2 weeks after treatment. Levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and RANKL in serum and joint tissues were similar in all groups. Furthermore, there were no differences in clinical, radiological, and histological parameters between HPE-treated and vehicle-treated group for 3 weeks in the CIA model.
Systemic treatment with HPE has no beneficial effects on arthritis in animal models of RA. Therefore, indiscreet use of HPE in RA should be forbidden.
PMCID: PMC3358675  PMID: 22639743
Human placental extract (HPE); Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

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