To examine the mechanism of regulation of interleukin-18 (IL-18) bioactivity by IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP) induction.
Levels of IL-18 and IL-18BPa expression were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) in osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial fluids, followed by free IL-18 calculation. IL-18 and IL-18BPa synthesis in RA synovial fibroblasts treated with pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines were assessed by qRT-PCR and ELISA, respectively, followed by IL-18 bioactivity determination using KG-1 cells. Chemical signaling inhibitors and antisense oligonucleotides were used for validation of the signal transduction pathways involved in IL-18BPa/IL-18 regulation. TNF-α-induced caspase-1 activity was determined by a colorimetric assay.
IL-18BPa was lower in RA synovial fluid than in OA synovial fluid (n=8; P < 0.05) and free IL-18 was higher in RA synovial fluid than in OA synovial fluid. TNF-α induced RA synovial fibroblast IL-18BPa and IL-18 in a time dependent manner (P < 0.05). Evaluation of signaling pathways suggested that TNF-α induced IL-18 production through extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)1/2, protein kinase C (PKC)δ, and Src pathways, whereas IL-18BPa synthesis was mediated through nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NFκB), PKC, Src, and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) pathways. Furthermore, addition of exogenous IL-18BPa-Fc reduced the RA synovial fibroblast phosphorylation of ERK1/2 induced by TNF-α.
These results suggest that IL-18BPa reduces IL-18 bioactivity induced by TNF-α, by regulating the ERK1/2 pathway in RA synovial fibroblasts. Targeting IL-18 bioactivity by induction or addition of IL-18BPa may provide another therapeutic option in the management of RA.
Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have a striking increase in atherothrombotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), not explained by the Framingham risk equation. In vitro studies indicate that type-I Interferons (IFNs) may play prominent roles in increased CV risk in SLE. However, the in vivo relevance of these findings, with regards to the development of CVD, has not been characterized. We examined the role of type-I IFNs in endothelial dysfunction, aberrant vascular repair, and atherothrombosis in murine models of lupus and atherosclerosis.
Lupus-prone New Zealand Mixed-2328 mice (NZM) and atherosclerosis-prone Apolipoprotein-E-knockout mice (ApoE−/−) were compared to mice lacking type-I IFN-receptor (INZM and ApoEIFNR−/−, respectively) in their endothelial vasodilatory function, endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) function, in vivo neoangiogenesis, plaque development and occlusive thrombosis. Similar experiments were performed when NZM and ApoE−/− received an IFN-α-containing or an empty adenovirus.
Loss of type IIFN-receptor signaling improves endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation, lipoprotein parameters, EPC numbers and function and neoangiogenesis in lupus-prone mice, independent of disease activity or gender. Further, acute exposure to IFN-α impairs endothelial vasorelaxation and EPC function in lupus-prone and non-lupus-prone mice. ApoEIFNR−/− mice have decreased atherosclerosis severity and arterial inflammatory infiltrates and increased neoangiogenesis, compared to ApoE−/− mice, while NZM and ApoE−/− mice exposed to IFN-α develop accelerated thrombosis and platelet activation.
These results support the hypothesis that type I-IFNs play key roles in the development of premature CVD in SLE and, potentially, in the general population, through pleiotropic deleterious effects on the vasculature.
Angiogenesis; atherosclerosis; systemic lupus erythematosus
We examined the possibility that CXCL16 recruits endothelial cells (ECs) to developing neovasculature in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovium.
We utilized the RA synovial tissue (ST) severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mouse chimera system to examine human dermal microvascular endothelial cell (HMVEC) and human endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) recruitment into engrafted human synovium injected intragraft with RA synovial fluid (SF) immunodepleted of CXCL16. CXCR6 deficient (CXCR6−/−) and wild-type (Wt) C57BL/6 mice were primed to develop K/BxN serum induced arthritis and evaluated for angiogenesis. HMVECs and EPCs from human cord blood were also examined for CXCR6 expression by immunofluorescence and signaling activity for CXCL16.
We found that CXCR6 is prominently expressed on human EPCs and HMVECs and can be upregulated by interleukin-1β (IL-1β). SCID mice injected intragraft with RA SF immunodepleted of CXCL16 showed a significant reduction in EPC recruitment. Using the K/BxN serum induced inflammatory arthritis model, CXCR6−/− mice showed profound reductions in hemoglobin (Hb) levels that correlated with reductions in monocyte and T-cell recruitment to arthritic joint tissue in CXCR6−/− compared to wildtype (Wt) mice. We also found that HMVECs and EPCs respond to CXCL16 stimulation but have unique signal transduction pathways and homing properties.
These results indicate that CXCL16 and its receptor CXCR6 may be a central ligand-receptor pair that can be highly correlated with EPC recruitment and blood vessel formation in the RA joint.
CXCL16; CXCR6; endothelial progenitor cells; vasculogenesis; angiogenesis; rheumatoid arthritis; chemotaxis
Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and its receptor (PDGFR) promote fibrosis in scleroderma (SSc) dermal fibroblasts, which produce excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS). PDGFR is phosphorylated upon PDGF stimulation, and dephosphorylated by protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs), including PTP1B. In this study we determine whether the thiol-sensitive PTP1B is affected by ROS, thus enhancing PDGFR phosphorylation (p-PDGFR) and collagen I (Col I) synthesis. The effect of a thiol antioxidant, n-acetylcysteine (NAC), was also investigated.
Fibroblasts were isolated from skin. A phosphate release assay was used for PTP1B activity.
ROS and Col I were significantly higher in SSc fibroblasts, accompanied by significantly lower amounts of free thiols compared to normal fibroblasts. After PDGF stimulation, not only were the PDGFR and ERK1/2 phosphorylated to a greater extent, but the ability to produce PTP1B was also hampered in SSc fibroblasts. PTP1B activity was significantly inactivated in SSc fibroblasts, which resulted from cysteine oxidation by higher levels of ROS, since oxidation of multiple PTPs, including PTP1B, was observed. Decreased PTP1B expression in normal fibroblasts led to increased Col I. NAC restored the low PTP1B activity, improved the profile of p-PDGFR, decreased the numbers of tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins and Col I, and scavenged ROS in SSc fibroblasts.
We introduce a new mechanism by which ROS promote a profibrotic phenotype in SSc fibroblasts through oxidative inactivation of PTP1B leading to pronounced PDGFR activation. Our study also provides a novel molecular mechanism by which NAC therapy may act on ROS and PTP1B to benefit SSc patients.
For better examination of inflammation, we designed inflammation-targeted nuclear and optical dual-modality contrast agents prepared by I-125 radiolabeling of gold nanorods (GdNRs) conjugated with anti-intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) antibody. The bioactivity and specific binding of the PEGylated 125I-ICAM-GdNRs conjugates to the ICAM-1 was validated through ELISA testing. Inflammation-targeted imaging was then conducted on an adjuvant-induced arthritic rat model which demonstrated an elevation of ICAM-1 level in the affected ankle joints. Facilitated by the I-125 radioisotope and the whole-body imaging via the Gamma camera, the time-dependent distribution of the systemically injected agent as well as the uptake of the agent in the inflammatory articular tissues could be examined conveniently and quantitatively. The success in targeted delivery of gold nanoparticles to inflammatory tissue enables both nuclear and optical imaging of inflammation at molecular or cellular level. Other than diagnosis, radiolabeled gold nanoparticles also hold promise for targeted therapy of a variety of disorders.
Gold nanorods; Iodine-125; γ-imaging; Radiolabeled nanoparticles; inflammation
TNFα is a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a central role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated the effects of certolizumab pegol, a TNFα blocker, on endothelial cell function and angiogenesis.
Human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs) were stimulated with TNFα with or without certolizumab pegol. TNFα-induced adhesion molecule expression and angiogenic chemokine secretion were measured by cell surface ELISA and angiogenic chemokine ELISA, respectively. We also examined the effect of certolizumab pegol on TNFα-induced myeloid human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cell adhesion to HMVECs, as well as blood vessels in RA synovial tissue using the Stamper-Woodruff assay. Lastly, we performed HMVEC chemotaxis, and tube formation.
Certolizumab pegol significantly blocked TNFα-induced HMVEC cell surface angiogenic E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression and angiogenic chemokine secretion (P < 0.05). We found that certolizumab pegol significantly inhibited TNFα-induced HL-60 cell adhesion to HMVECs (P < 0.05), and blocked HL-60 cell adhesion to RA synovial tissue vasculature (P < 0.05). TNFα also enhanced HMVEC chemotaxis compared with the negative control group (P < 0.05) and this chemotactic response was significantly reduced by certolizumab pegol (P < 0.05). Certolizumab pegol inhibited TNFα-induced HMVEC tube formation on Matrigel (P < 0.05).
Our data support the hypothesis that certolizumab pegol inhibits TNFα-dependent leukocyte adhesion and angiogenesis, probably via inhibition of angiogenic adhesion molecule expression and angiogenic chemokine secretion.
Rationale: Tissue injury and repair involve highly conserved processes governed by mechanisms that can be co-opted in tumors. We hypothesized that soluble factors released during the repair response to lung injury would promote orthotopic tumor growth.
Objectives: To determine whether lung injury promoted growth of orthotopic lung tumors and to study the molecular mechanisms.
Methods: We initiated lung injury in C57Bl6 mice using different stimuli, then injected Lewis lung carcinoma cells during the repair phase. We assessed tumor growth 14 days later. We measured tumor angiogenesis, cytokine expression, proliferation, and apoptosis.
Measurements and Main Results: Regardless of the mechanism, injured lungs contained more numerous and larger tumors than sham-injured lungs. Tumors from injured lungs were no more vascular, but had higher levels of proliferation and reduced rates of apoptosis. The cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) was highly expressed in both models of tissue injury. We observed no increase in tumor growth after lung injury in MIF knockout mice. We induced lung-specific overexpression of MIF in a double-transgenic mouse, and observed that MIF overexpression by itself was sufficient to accelerate the growth of orthotopic Lewis lung carcinoma tumors.
Conclusions: Lung injury leads to increased expression of the cytokine MIF, which results in protection from apoptosis and increased proliferation in orthotopic tumors injected after the acute phase of injury.
cytokines; angiogenesis; stroma
To better define the activity of soluble CXCL16 to recruit polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) in vivo, we developed a novel animal model of gout pathology. We tested CXCL16 to recruit PMNs in a human normal synovial tissue (NL ST) severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mouse chimera injected intragraft with gouty SF.
For in vitro studies, we utilized the modified Boyden chemotaxis system to identify CXCL16 as an active recruitment factor for PMNs. Cell migration could be reduced by neutralizing gouty SF CXCL16 activity. For in vivo analysis, fluorescently dye-tagged PMNs were injected i.v., while a simultaneous injection of diluted gouty SF containing CXCL16 was administered intragraft. We similarly inhibited the receptor for CXCL16, CXCR6, by incubating PMNs with neutralizing CXCR6 antibodies and examined PMN recruitment to gouty tissues in the SCID mouse chimera system.
CXCL16 is highly elevated in gouty SF and PMNs migrate to CXCL16 in vitro. NL ST SCID mouse chimeras injected intragraft with gouty SF depleted of CXCL16 during PMN transfer showed a significant 50% reduction of PMN recruitment to engrafted tissue compared to grafts administered sham depleted gouty SF. Similar findings were achieved when incubating PMNs with neutralizing anti-CXCR6 antibody before injection into chimeras administered gouty SF.
Overall, this study outlines the effectiveness of the human SCID mouse chimera system as a viable animal model for gout, identifying a primary function of CXCL16 as a significant mediator of in vivo PMN recruitment to gouty SF.
Inflammation; chemokines; SCID; gout; CXCL16
Junctional adhesion molecule-C (JAM-C) is an adhesion molecule expressed by endothelial cells that plays a role in tight junction formation, leukocyte adhesion, and trans-endothelial migration. In the present study, we investigated whether JAM-C is found in soluble form and if soluble JAM-C (sJAM-C) mediates angiogenesis. We found that JAM-C is present in soluble form in normal serum and elevated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) serum. The concentration of sJAM-C is also elevated locally in RA synovial fluid compared to RA serum or osteoarthritis synovial fluid. sJAM-C was also present in the culture supernatant of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs) and immortalized human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1s), and its concentration was increased following cytokine stimulation. In addition, sJAM-C cleavage from the cell surface was mediated in part by a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10) and ADAM17. In functional assays, sJAM-C was both chemotatic and chemokinetic for HMVECs, and induced HMVEC tube formation on Matrigel in vitro. Neutralizing anti-JAM-C antibodies inhibited RA synovial fluid induced HMVEC chemotaxis and sJAM-C induced HMVEC tube formation on Matrigel. sJAM-C also induced angiogenesis in vivo in the Matrigel plug and sponge granuloma models. Moreover, sJAM-C mediated HMVEC chemotaxis was dependent on Src, p38, and PI3K. Our results show that JAM-C exists in soluble form, and suggest that modulation of sJAM-C may provide a novel route for controling pathological angiogenesis.
Objective. Evaluation of the efficacy of green tea extract (GTE) in regulating chemokine production and chemokine receptor expression in human RA synovial fibroblasts and rat adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA).
Methods. Fibroblasts isolated from human RA synovium were used in the study. Regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES)/CCL5, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1/CCL2, growth-regulated oncogene (GRO)α/CXCL1 and IL-8/CXCL8 production was measured by ELISA. Western blotting was used to study the phosphorylation of protein kinase C (PKC)δ and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK). Chemokine and chemokine receptor expression was determined by quantitative RT–PCR. The benefit of GTE administration in rat AIA was determined.
Results. GTE (2.5–40 μg/ml) inhibited IL-1β-induced MCP-1/CCL2 (10 ng/ml), RANTES/CCL5, GROα/CXCL1 and IL-8/CXCL8 production in human RA synovial fibroblasts (P < 0.05). However, GTE inhibited MCP-1/CCL2 and GROα/CXCL1 mRNA synthesis in RA synovial fibroblasts. Furthermore, GTE also inhibited IL-1β-induced phosphorylation of PKCδ, the signalling pathway mediating IL-1β-induced chemokine production. Interestingly, GTE preincubation enhanced constitutive and IL-1β-induced CCR1, CCR2b, CCR5, CXCR1 and CXCR2 receptor expression. GTE administration (200 mg/kg/day p.o.) modestly ameliorated rat AIA, which was accompanied by a decrease in MCP-1/CCL2 and GROα/CXCL1 levels and enhanced CCR-1, -2, -5 and CXCR1 receptor expression in the joints of GTE administered rats.
Conclusions. Chemokine receptor overexpression with reduced chemokine production by GTE may be one potential mechanism to limit the overall inflammation and joint destruction in RA.
Green tea; Chemokines; Chemokine receptors; Rheumatoid arthritis; Synovial fibroblasts; Complementary and alternative medicine; Adjuvant-induced arthritis
Understanding rheumatic diseases from the perspective of chemokine biology has shaped and will continue to shape our approach for targeted drug design. Among different kinds of chemokines, fractalkine/CX3CL1 has been found to play an important role in inflammation, portraying unique functional, and structural characteristics. This review summarizes the emerging role of fractalkine/CX3CL1 from a functional and clinical perspective and provides evidence to validate it as a potential therapeutic target in rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, as well as diseases related to vascular inflammation. From this, recent studies investigating potential therapeutic agents against fractalkine/CX3CL1’s role in pathology have shown promise.
fractalkine/CX3CL1; rheumatic disorders; proteolytic shedding; ADAM17/TACE; ADAM10
Much of the work aimed at elucidating the pathogenesis of osteonecrosis (ON) of the femoral head has focused on bone blood supply, with little attention to the surrounding synovial tissue (ST). We hypothesized that patients with ON exhibit synovial inflammation. Using immunohistological techniques, we found that a large population of patients with ON had synovial inflammation. Moreover, a population of ON patients had inflamed ST without having an inflammatory disease co-morbidity. The inflammatory infiltrate in these patients comprised primarily CD4+ T cells and CD68+ macrophages, the latter of which expressed increased levels of cellular adhesion molecules. Our results suggest the presence of a previously unrecognized population of ON patients without a diagnosed inflammatory co-morbidity and a highly inflammed synovium consisting primarily of a macrophage and CD4+ T-cell infiltrate.
osteonecrosis; synovium; inflammation; macrophage; adhesion molecules
Vasculogenesis is the generation of vessels from endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Attenuated numbers and function of EPCs associated with defective vasculogenesis are present in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), scleroderma and other autoimmune-inflammatory diseases, which have significant relevance for increased cardio- and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality in arthritis [1–5]. Stimulation of EPCs and vasculogenesis may be beneficial to prevent and manage atherosclerosis related to arthritis. [1–5].
Vasculogenesis; Atherosclerosis; Rheumatoid arthritis; Endothelial progenitor cells
Angiogenesis, the development of new capillaries, is a crucial process in health and disease. The perpetuation of neovascularization in rheumatoid arthritis is highly involved in leukocyte extravasation into the synovium and pannus formation. Numerous soluble and cell surface-bound angiogenic mediators, including growth factors, cytokines, proteases, matrix macromolecules, cell adhesion receptors, chemokines and chemokine receptors, have been implicated in the process of neovascularization. Endogenous angiostatic factors, primarily angiostatin, endostatin, IL-4, IL-13, some angiostatic chemokines may be used to downregulate neovascularization. In addition, angiogenesis might be targeted by several specific approaches against VEGF, angiopoietin, αvβ3 integrin or by exogenously administered compounds including DMARDs, anti-TNF agents, fumagillin analogues or thalidomide. Potentially all anti-angiogenic could be tried in order to control synovitis.
Angiogenesis; rheumatoid arthritis; targeting; angiogenic mediators; angiostasis
Chemokines are involved in leukocyte recruitment to inflammatory sites, such as the synovial tissue in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There is a structural and a functional classification of chemokines. The former includes four groups: CXC, CC, C and CX3C chemokines. Chemokines may also be either inflammatory or homeostatic, however, these functions often overlap. Anti-chemokine and anti-chemokine receptor targeting may be therapeutically used in the future biological therapy of arthritis. Most data in this field have been obtained from animal models of arthritis as only very few human RA trials have been completed. However, it is very likely that various specific chemokine and chemokine receptor antagonists will be developed and administered to RA patients.
Rheumatoid Arthritis; Chemokines; Chemokine Receptors; Targeting; Review
Angiogenesis is the formation of new capillaries from pre-existing vessels. A number of soluble and cell-bound factors may stimulate neovascularization. The perpetuation of angiogenesis involving numerous soluble and cell surface-bound mediators has been associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These angiogenic mediators, among others, include growth factors, primarily vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines, various chemokines, matrix components, cell adhesion molecules, proteases and others. Among the several potential angiogenesis inhibitors, targeting of VEGF, HIF-1, angiogenic chemokines, tumor necrosis factor-α and the αVβ3 integrin may attenuate the action of angiogenic mediators and thus synovial angiogenesis. In addition, some naturally produced or synthetic compounds including angiostatin, endostatin, paclitaxel, fumagillin analogues, 2-methoxyestradiol and thalidomide may be included in the management of RA.
angiogenesis; rheumatoid arthritis; vascular endothelial growth factor; angiostasis therapy
Angiogenesis, the development of new capillaries, is involved in leukocyte ingress into the synovium during the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Several soluble and cell surface-bound mediators including growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, proteolytic matrix-degrading enzymes, cell adhesion molecules and others may promote synovial neovascularization. On the other hand, endogenous angiostatic factors, such as angiostatin, endostatin, interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-13, interferons and some angiostatic chemokines are also produced within the rheumatoid synovium, however, their effects are insufficient to control synovial angiogenesis and inflammation. Several specific and non-specific strategies have been developed to block the action of angiogenic mediators. The first line of angiostatic agents include vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietin, αVβ3 integrin antagonist, as well as non-specific angiogenesis inhibitors including traditional disease-modifying agents (DMARDs), anti-tumor necrosis factor biologics, angiostatin, endostatin, fumagillin analogues or thalidomide. Potentially any angiostatic compound could be introduced to studies using animal models of arthritis or even to human rheumatoid arthritis trials.
Angiogenesis; Rheumatoid arthritis; Targeting; Angiogenic mediators; Angiostatic agents
Overexpression of the antiapoptotic protein myeloid cell leukemia 1 (Mcl-1) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial fibroblasts is a major cause of their resistance to tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)–induced apoptosis. This study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in down-regulating Mcl-1 expression and its mechanism of RA synovial fibroblast sensitization to TNFα-induced apoptosis.
EGCG effects on cultured RA synovial fibroblast cell morphology, proliferation, and viability over 72 hours were determined by microscopy and a fluorescent cell enumeration assay. Caspase 3 activity was determined by a colorimetric assay. Western blotting was used to evaluate the apoptosis mediators poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), Mcl-1, Bcl-2, Akt, and nuclear translocation of NF-κB.
In RA synovial fibroblasts, EGCG (5–50 μM) inhibited constitutive and TNFα-induced Mcl-1 protein expression in a concentration- and time-dependent manner (P < 0.05). Importantly, EGCG specifically abrogated Mcl-1 expression in RA synovial fibroblasts and affected Mcl-1 expression to a lesser extent in osteoarthritis and normal synovial fibroblasts or endothelial cells. Inhibition of Mcl-1 by EGCG triggered caspase 3 activity in RA synovial fibroblasts, which was mediated via down-regulation of the TNFα-induced Akt and NF-κB pathways. Caspase 3 activation by EGCG also suppressed RA synovial fibroblast growth, and this effect was mimicked by Akt and NF-κB inhibitors. Interestingly, Mcl-1 degradation by EGCG sensitized RA synovial fibroblasts to TNFα-induced PARP cleavage and apoptotic cell death.
Our findings indicate that EGCG itself induces apoptosis and further sensitizes RA synovial fibroblasts to TNFα-induced apoptosis by specifically blocking Mcl-1 expression and, hence, may be of promising adjunct therapeutic value in regulating the invasive growth of synovial fibroblasts in RA.
Leukocyte infiltration into the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovium is a multistep process in which leukocytes leave the bloodstream and invade the synovial tissue (ST). Leukocyte transendothelial migration and adhesion to RA ST requires adhesion molecules on the surface of endothelial cells and RA ST fibroblasts. This study was undertaken to investigate the role of junctional adhesion molecule C (JAM-C) in mediating leukocyte recruitment and retention in the RA joint.
Immunohistologic analysis was performed on RA, osteoarthritis (OA), and normal ST samples to quantify JAM-C expression. Fibroblast JAM-C expression was also analyzed using Western blotting, cell surface enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and immunofluorescence. To determine the role of JAM-C in leukocyte retention in the RA synovium, in vitro and in situ adhesion assays and RA ST fibroblast transmigration assays were performed.
JAM-C was highly expressed by RA ST lining cells, and its expression was increased in OA ST and RA ST endothelial cells compared with normal ST endothelial cells. JAM-C was also expressed on the surface of OA ST and RA ST fibroblasts. Furthermore, we demonstrated that myeloid U937 cell adhesion to both OA ST and RA ST fibroblasts and to RA ST was dependent on JAM-C. U937 cell migration through an RA ST fibroblast monolayer was enhanced in the presence of neutralizing antibodies against JAM-C.
Our results highlight the novel role of JAM-C in recruiting and retaining leukocytes in the RA synovium and suggest that targeting JAM-C may be important in combating inflammatory diseases such as RA.
Angiogenesis is the formation of new capillaries from pre-existing vessels. A number of soluble and cell-bound factors may stimulate neovascularization. The perpetuation of angiogenesis involving numerous soluble and cell surface-bound mediators has been associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These angiogenic mediators, among others, include growth factors, primarily vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines, various chemokines, cell adhesion molecules, proteases and others. Among the several potential angiogenesis inhibitors, targeting of VEGF, HIF-1, angiopoietin and the αVβ3 integrin, as well as some endogenous or synthetic compounds including angiostatin, endostatin, paclitaxel, fumagillin analogues, 2-methoxyestradiol and thalidomide seems to be promising for the management of synovial inflammation and angiogenesis. A complete review of antiangiogenic drugs used in animal models of arthritis or human RA is available in a table.
Angiogenesis; Rheumatoid arthritis; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Angiostasis
Objective. SSc is characterized by microvascular abnormalities and leucocyte infiltration. Previous studies have suggested a proadhesive phenotype in SSc skin, but the functional consequences of this phenotype are not fully understood. Molecules known to mediate leucocyte adhesion include those present at intracellular junctions, such as junctional adhesion molecule-B (JAM-B), JAM-C and CD99, as well as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). The aim of this study was to examine adhesive interactions in SSc skin.
Methods. The expression of JAM-B, JAM-C, CD99, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in SSc skin was determined by immunohistology and cell surface ELISA. Myeloid U937 cell–SSc dermal fibroblast adhesion assays or in situ adhesion assays to SSc skin were performed.
Results. JAM-C and CD99 expression on endothelial cells (ECs) in SSc skin was decreased compared with expression on normal ECs. CD99 was overexpressed on mononuclear cells in SSc skin and on SSc dermal fibroblasts. Neutralizing ICAM-1 inhibited the binding of U937 cells to SSc dermal fibroblasts. In addition, blocking both ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 inhibited U937 cell adhesion to either proximal (less involved) or distal (more involved) SSc skin.
Conclusions. These studies show that JAM-C and CD99 are aberrantly expressed in SSc skin. However, these adhesion molecules do not mediate myeloid cell–SSc skin adhesion. In contrast, we demonstrate an important role for ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in the retention of myeloid cells in SSc skin, suggesting that targeting these molecules may be useful SSc therapies.
Systemic sclerosis; Adhesion molecules; Junctional adhesion molecules; VCAM-1; ICAM-1
To investigate the role of Junctional adhesion molecule A (JAM-A) in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc).
Biopsies from proximal and distal arm skin and serum were obtained from patients with SSc and normal (NL) volunteers. To determine the expression of JAM-A on SSc dermal fibroblasts and in SSc skin, cell surface ELISAs and immunohistology were performed. An ELISA was designed to determine the amount of soluble JAM-A (sJAM-A) in serum. Myeloid U937 cell-SSc dermal fibroblast and skin adhesion assays were performed to determine the role of JAM-A in myeloid cell adhesion.
The stratum granulosum and dermal endothelial cells (ECs) from distal arm SSc skin exhibited significantly decreased expression of JAM-A compared to NL. However, sJAM-A was elevated in the serum of patients with SSc compared to NL. Conversely, JAM-A was increased on the surface of SSc compared to NL dermal fibroblasts. JAM-A accounted for a significant portion of U937 binding to SSc dermal fibroblasts. In addition, JAM-A contributed to U937 adhesion to both distal and proximal SSc skin.
JAM-A expression is dysregulated in SSc skin. Decreased expression of JAM-A on SSc ECs may result in a reduced response to proangiogenic basic fibroblast growth factor. While increased JAM-A expression on SSc fibroblasts may serve to retain myeloid cells, which in turn secrete angiogenic factors.
Systemic sclerosis; Scleroderma; JAM-A; Cell adhesion
The function of interleukin-18 (IL-18) was investigated in pertinent animal models of rodent rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to determine its proinflammatory and monocyte recruitment properties.
We used a modified Boyden chemotaxis system to examine monocyte recruitment to recombinant human (rhu) IL-18 in vitro. Monocyte recruitment to rhuIL-18 was then tested in vivo by using an RA synovial tissue (ST) severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mouse chimera. We defined monocyte-specific signal-transduction pathways induced by rhuIL-18 with Western blotting analysis and linked this to in vitro monocyte chemotactic activity. Finally, the ability of IL-18 to induce a cytokine cascade during acute joint inflammatory responses was examined by inducing wild-type (Wt) and IL-18 gene-knockout mice with zymosan-induced arthritis (ZIA).
We found that intragraft injected rhuIL-18 was a robust monocyte recruitment factor to both human ST and regional (inguinal) murine lymph node (LN) tissue. IL-18 gene-knockout mice also showed pronounced reductions in joint inflammation during ZIA compared with Wt mice. Many proinflammatory cytokines were reduced in IL-18 gene-knockout mouse joint homogenates during ZIA, including macrophage inflammatory protein-3α (MIP-3α/CCL20), vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF), and IL-17. Signal-transduction experiments revealed that IL-18 signals through p38 and ERK½ in monocytes, and that IL-18-mediated in vitro monocyte chemotaxis can be significantly inhibited by disruption of this pathway.
Our data suggest that IL-18 may be produced in acute inflammatory responses and support the notion that IL-18 may serve a hierarchic position for initiating joint inflammatory responses.
In rheumatoid arthritis, chemokines mediate the migration of inflammatory leukocytes into the synovium. Among the four known chemokine families, CXC, CC chemokines and fractalkine seem to be of outstanding importance in this process. Angiogenesis, the formation of new vessels, is also important during the perpetuation of inflammation underlying rheumatoid arthritis. In this review, authors discuss the role of the most important chemokines and chemokine repetors in arthritis-associated neovascularization. The process and regulation of angiogenesis are described in this context as well. Apart from discussing the pathogenic role of chemokines and chemokine receptors in arthritic vessel formation, authors also review the important relevance of chemokines and angiogenesis for therapeutic intervention.
Angiogenesis; Chemokines; Chemokine Receptors; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Angiogenic Mediators; Review