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2.  IK acts as an immunoregulator of inflammatory arthritis by suppressing TH17 cell differentiation and macrophage activation 
Scientific Reports  2017;7:40280.
Pathogenic T helper cells (TH) and macrophages have been implicated in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which can lead to severe synovial inflammation and bone destruction. A range of therapies have been widely used for RA, including specific monoclonal antibodies and chemical inhibitors against inflammatory cytokines produced by these cells. However, these have not been sufficient to meet the medical need. Here, we show that in transgenic mice expressing truncated IK (tIK) cytokine, inflammatory arthritis symptoms were ameliorated as the result of suppression of the differentiation of TH1 and TH17 cells and of macrophage activation. During inflammatory responses, tIK cytokine systemically regulated macrophage functions and TH17 cell differentiation through inactivation of the MAPK and NF-κB pathways. Interestingly, the level of tIK cytokine was higher in synovial fluid of RA patients compared with that in osteoarthritis (OA) patients. Our observations suggest that tIK cytokine can counterbalance the induction of inflammatory cells related to RA and thus could be a new therapeutic agent for the treatment of RA.
doi:10.1038/srep40280
PMCID: PMC5223115  PMID: 28071693
3.  HtrA2 suppresses autoimmune arthritis and regulates activation of STAT3 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:39393.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that is related to the induction of T helper (Th)17 cells, which secrete interleukin-17, and activation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3. The expression of high-temperature requirement protein A (HtrA) 2, a serine protease involved in apoptosis, was decreased in RA patients nonresponsive to drug treatment of RA. The aim of this study was to determine whether overexpression of HtrA2 has a therapeutic effect on RA. Th17 differentiation, osteoclastogenesis, and lymphocyte activation are increased in motor neuron degeneration (mnd)2 mice, which lack HtrA2 activity because of a missense mutation (Ser276Cys) in the protease domain of HtrA2. The inhibitor of HtrA2 also increased Th17 differentiation. On the other hand, HtrA2 induced cleavage of STAT3 and overexpression of HtrA2 attenuated CIA in a mouse model. HtrA2 overexpression inhibited plaque development as well as the differentiation of Th17 in ApoE−/− mice after immunization with proteoglycans to induce a hyperlipidemia-based RA animal model. The therapeutic function of HtrA2 in inflammatory diseases is linked with Th17 development and the STAT3 pathway in splenocytes. These results suggest that HtrA2 participates in immunomodulatory activity where the upregulation of HtrA2 may shed light on therapeutic approaches to RA and hyperlipidemia.
doi:10.1038/srep39393
PMCID: PMC5180098  PMID: 28008946
4.  CMOS: Efficient Clustered Data Monitoring in Sensor Networks 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:704957.
Tiny and smart sensors enable applications that access a network of hundreds or thousands of sensors. Thus, recently, many researchers have paid attention to wireless sensor networks (WSNs). The limitation of energy is critical since most sensors are battery-powered and it is very difficult to replace batteries in cases that sensor networks are utilized outdoors. Data transmission between sensor nodes needs more energy than computation in a sensor node. In order to reduce the energy consumption of sensors, we present an approximate data gathering technique, called CMOS, based on the Kalman filter. The goal of CMOS is to efficiently obtain the sensor readings within a certain error bound. In our approach, spatially close sensors are grouped as a cluster. Since a cluster header generates approximate readings of member nodes, a user query can be answered efficiently using the cluster headers. In addition, we suggest an energy efficient clustering method to distribute the energy consumption of cluster headers. Our simulation results with synthetic data demonstrate the efficiency and accuracy of our proposed technique.
doi:10.1155/2013/704957
PMCID: PMC3886393  PMID: 24459444
5.  Overexpression of soluble RAGE in mesenchymal stem cells enhances their immunoregulatory potential for cellular therapy in autoimmune arthritis 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:35933.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are attractive agents for cellular therapy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) serves as a pattern recognition receptor for endogenous inflammatory ligands. Soluble RAGE (sRAGE) is a truncated form of RAGE that functions as a decoy and acts as an anti-inflammatory molecule. The aim of this study was to determine whether sRAGE has therapeutic effects and the mechanisms active in sRAGE-overexpressing MSCs (sRAGE-MSCs) in an experimental model of RA. sRAGE-MSCs were generated by DNA transfection of human adipose tissue-derived MSCs (Ad-hMSCs). MSCs showed increased expression of VEGF, IL-1β, IL-6, and HMGB-1 under inflammatory conditions. However, sRAGE-MSCs showed significantly lower production of these proinflammatory molecules. Expression of immunomodulatory molecules such as IL-10, TGF-β, and indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase was higher in sRAGE-MSCs than in mock-MSCs. sRAGE-MSCs showed enhanced migration potential. Transplantation of sRAGE-MSCs into arthritic IL-1Ra-knockout mice markedly suppressed inflammatory arthritis, decreased Th17 cells, and reciprocally increased regulatory T cells. The differentiation of IFN-γ+CD4+ and IL-17+CD4+ cells was inhibited by incubation with sRAGE-MSCs compared with mock-MSCs. These findings suggest that sRAGE overexpression in Ad-hMSCs optimizes their immunoregulatory properties, which may be useful as a novel cellular therapy for RA.
doi:10.1038/srep35933
PMCID: PMC5090969  PMID: 27804999
6.  Amelioration of autoimmune arthritis by adoptive transfer of Foxp3-expressing regulatory B cells is associated with the Treg/Th17 cell balance 
Background
Foxp3 is a key regulator of the development and function of regulatory T cells (Tregs), and its expression is thought to be T cell-restricted. We found that B cells in mice can express Foxp3 and B cells expressing Foxp3 may play a role in preventing the development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in DBA/1J mice.
Methods
Foxp3 expression was modulated in CD19+ B cells by transfection with shRNA or using an over-expression construct. In addition, Foxp3-transfected B cells were adoptively transferred to CIA mice. We found that LPS or anti-IgM stimulation induced Foxp3 expression in B cells. Foxp3-expressing B cells were found in the spleens of mice.
Results
Over-expression of Foxp3 conferred a contact-dependent suppressive ability on proliferation of responder T cells. Down-regulation of Foxp3 by shRNA caused a profound induction in proliferation of responder T cells. Adoptive transfer of Foxp3+CD19+ B cells attenuated the clinical symptoms of CIA significantly with concomitant suppression of IL-17 production and enhancement of Foxp3 expression in CD4+ T cells from splenocytes.
Conclusion
Our data indicate that Foxp3 expression is not restricted to T cells. The expression of Foxp3 in B cells is critical for the immunoregulation of T cells and limits autoimmunity in a mouse model.
doi:10.1186/s12967-016-0940-7
PMCID: PMC4924280  PMID: 27350539
Foxp3; Regulatory B cell; Th17; Arthritis
7.  Gastroprotective Effects of Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extracts against Nonsteroid Anti-Inflammatory Drug-Induced Gastric Injury in Rats 
Gut and Liver  2013;7(3):282-289.
Background/Aims
To investigate the gastroprotective effects of grape seed proanthocyanidin extracts (GSPEs) against nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced gastric mucosal injury in rats.
Methods
Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly allocated to the normal control, indomethacin, low-dose GSPE, high-dose GSPE and misoprostol groups. All groups except the normal control group received pretreatment drugs for 6 consecutive days. On the 5th and 6th day, indomethacin was administered orally to all groups except for normal control group. The microscopic features of injury were analyzed. The levels of gastric mucosal glutathione, gastric mucosal prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and proinflammatory cytokines were investigated.
Results
The total areas of ulceration in the GSPE and misoprostol groups were significantly decreased compared with the indomethacin group (p<0.05). However, a difference in ulcer formation among the drug treatment groups was not observed. Meanwhile, the glutathione levels in the high-dose GSPE group were higher than those of both the indomethacin and misoprostol groups (p<0.05) and were similar to those of the normal control group. Additionally, there was no difference among the groups in the levels of gastric mucosal PGE2 and proinflammatory cytokines.
Conclusions
High-dose GSPE has a strong protective effect against NSAID-induced gastric mucosal injury, which may be associated with the antioxidant effects of GSPE.
doi:10.5009/gnl.2013.7.3.282
PMCID: PMC3661959  PMID: 23710308
Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drug; Grape seed proanthocyanidins; Gastropathy; Antioxidants
8.  Measurement of Interleukin-33 (IL-33) and IL-33 Receptors (sST2 and ST2L) in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(9):1132-1139.
The interleukin-33 (IL-33)/ST2 pathway has emerged as an intercellular signaling system that participates in antigen-allergen response, autoimmunity and fibrosis. It has been suggested that IL-33/ST2 signaling has been involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), because IL-33 and its receptor have been specifically mapped to RA synovium. The aim of this study was to determine the levels of IL-33 and sST2 in sera and synovial fluids in patients with RA. The serum level of IL-33 was significantly higher in patients with RA (294.9 ± 464.0 pg/mL) than in healthy controls (96.0 ± 236.9 pg/mL, P = 0.002). The synovial fluid level of IL-33 was significantly higher in RA patients than in osteoarthritis patients. The level of serum sST2 was higher in RA patients than in healthy controls (P = 0.042). A significant relationship was found between the levels of IL-33 and IL-1β (r = 0.311, P = 0.005), and IL-33 and IL-6 (r = 0.264, P = 0.017) in 81 RA patients. The levels of IL-33, sST2 and C-reactive protein decreased after conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs treatment in 10 patients with treatment-naïve RA. Conclusively, IL-33 is involved in the pathogenesis of RA and may reflect the degree of inflammation in patients with RA.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2011.26.9.1132
PMCID: PMC3172648  PMID: 21935266
Interleukin-33; sST2, ST2L; Arthritis, Rheumatoid
9.  A Case of Hypertrophic Cranial Pachymeningitis Presenting with Scleritis in a Patient with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(6):966-969.
Hypertrophic cranial pachymeningitis (HCP) is an uncommon disorder that causes a localized or diffuse thickening of the dura mater and has been reported to be infrequently associated with systemic autoimmune disorders such as Wegener's granulomatosis, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, Behçet's disease, Sjögren syndrome, and temporal arteritis. Here, we report a case of HCP initially presented with scleritis and headache in a patient with undifferenciated connective tissue disease (UCTD). HCP was initially suspected on brain magnetic resonance imaging and defined pathologically on meningial biopsy. Immunologic studies showed the presence of anti-RNP antibody. After high dose corticosteroid therapy, the patient's symptoms and radiologic abnormalities of brain were improved. Our case suggested that HCP should be considered in the differential diagnosis of headache in a patient with UCTD presenting with scleritis.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2010.25.6.966
PMCID: PMC2877233  PMID: 20514324
Hypertrophic Pachymeningitis; Undifferenciated Connective Tissue Disease; Scleritis
10.  Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Polymyositis, Rhabdomyolysis, and Acute Renal Failure 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2004;19(6):891-894.
A 55 yr-old man presented with progressive muscle weakness and oliguria for 5days. Laboratory findings suggested rhabdomyolysis complicated with acute renal failure. A diagnosis of polymyositis was based upon the proximal muscle weakness on both upper and lower limbs, elevated muscle enzyme levels, muscle biopsy findings and the needle electromyography findings. The muscle biopsy showed extensive muscle necrosis and calcification. Investigations for underlying malignancy demonstrated hepatocellular carcinoma. The patient was managed with hemodialysis and high dose prednisolone. His renal function was fully recovered and his muscle power did improve slightly, but he died of a rupture of the hepatic tumor. In our view, this is an interesting case in that the hepatocellular carcinoma was associated with polymyositis and fulminant rhabdomyolysis-induced acute renal failure requiring hemodialysis.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2004.19.6.891
PMCID: PMC2816294  PMID: 15608404
Carcinoma, Hepatocellular; Polymyositis; Rhabdomyolysis; Kidney Failure, Acute
11.  Urinary Bladder Involvement in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: with Review of the Literature 
Objectives
To investigate the etiologies of urinary bladder involvement in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the clinicoradiologic features of gastrointestinal tract manifestations and clinical outcomes in patients with lupus cystitis accompanied by gastrointestinal manifestations.
Methods
We conducted a retrospective chart review on 413 patients with SLE. Patients were selected for review on the basis of tower urinary tract symptoms including urinary frequency, urgency and urinary incontinence. Radiologic studies were analyzed in patients with lupus cystitis.
Results
Ten consecutive patients, complicated with lower urinary tract symptoms, were identified. Underlying etiologies were as follows: lupus cystitis in five, neurogenic dysfunction secondary to transverse myelitis in three, cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis in one and tuberculous cystitis in one patient. All patients with lupus cystitis showed gastrointestinal manifestations, such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea during the periods of cystitis symptoms. In all patients with lupus cystitis, paralytic ileus was demonstrated on plain abdominal X-ray and ascites, bilateral hydroureteronephrosis and thickened bladder wall were identified on abdominal ultrasound or CT. Abdominal CT revealed bowel wall thickening in four of the five patients. The main sites of thickened bowel on abdominal CT were territory supplied by superior mesenteric artery. Two of five patients with lupus cystitis expired during the follow-up period.
Conclusion
Diverse etiologies may cause lower urinary tract symptoms in patients with SLE. Lupus cystitis is strongly associated with gastrointestinal involvement and abdominal CT can be a useful radiologic tool to investigate the gastrointestinal tract involvement in patients with lupus cystitis.
doi:10.3904/kjim.2000.15.1.42
PMCID: PMC4531746  PMID: 10714091
systemic lupus erythematosus; urinary bladder involvement; gastrointestinal tract involvement
12.  Systemic Mononuclear Inflammatory Vasculopathy Associated with Sjögren’s Syndrome in a Patient with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis 
We report a 46-year-old woman with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) presenting with Sjögren’s syndrome and systemic mononuclear inflammatory vasculopathy. Biopsy specimens of sural nerve showed findings consistent with vasculitic neuropathy. Perivascular inflammatory mononuclear cell infiltration was observed on muscle biopsy specimen. The findings of abdominal computed tomography and brain magnetic resonance imaging were suggestive of vasculitis. Clinical manifestations and radiologic findings were improved after high dose prednisolone therapy.
doi:10.3904/kjim.2000.15.1.89
PMCID: PMC4531751  PMID: 10714099
systemic mononuclear inflammatory vasculopathy; Sjögren’s syndrome; primary biliary cirrhosis
13.  A Case of Sternal Insufficiency Fracture 
We report a case of insufficiency fracture of the sternum in a 70-year-old female patient with a review of the literature. She complained of sudden onset chest pain and aggravating dyspnea. She has been managed with corticosteroid due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for 15 years. Diagnosis of sternal insufficiency fracture presented with thoracic kyphosis was made on the basis of absence of trauma history, radiologic findings of lateral chest radiograph, bone scintigraphy and chest computed tomography. Thoracic kyphosis and osteoporosis secondary to menopause, corticosteroid therapy and limited mobility due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were considered as predisposing factors of the sternal insufficiency fracture in this patient.
doi:10.3904/kjim.1999.14.2.94
PMCID: PMC4531928  PMID: 10461433
Insufficiency fracture; sternum; osteoporosis; COPD
14.  Hyperimmunoglobulin E-Recurrent Infection Syndrome In A Patient With Juvenile Dermatomyositis 
A 13-year-old girl presented with multiple skin abscesses. She was diagnosed as having juvenile dermatomyositis (DM) at the age of 7 years. She had suffered from recurrent skin infections, atypical pruritic dermatitis and pneumonia since the age of 8 years. Bacteriologic and fungal cultures for skin abscesses and oral mucosa were positive S. aureus and C. albicans, respectively. Chemotactic defect in peripheral blood neutrophils was observed. The level of serum IgE was markedly elevated, and anti-S.aureus specific IgE was found. A diagnosis of hyperimmunoglobulin E-recurrent infection syndrome (HIE) was made and she was successfully treated with surgical drainage and antibiotics. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of HIE in a patient with juvenile dermatomyositis.
doi:10.3904/kjim.1999.14.1.95
PMCID: PMC4531902  PMID: 10063322
Juvenile dermatomyositis; hyperimmunoglobulin E-recurrent infection syndrome (HIE)
15.  Eupatilin Exerts Antinociceptive and Chondroprotective Properties in a Rat Model of Osteoarthritis by Downregulating Oxidative Damage and Catabolic Activity in Chondrocytes 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0130882.
Increases in oxidative stress are thought to be associated with the development of osteoarthritis (OA). Eupatilin, one of the major compounds present in artemisia species, was shown to have both anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we investigated the in vivo effects of eupatilin on pain severity and cartilage degradation in an experimental rat model of OA, along with the mechanisms of action underlying these effects. Experimental OA was induced via an intra-articular injection of monosodium iodoacetate (MIA), with oral administration of eupatilin initiated on the day of MIA injection. Pain was assessed by measuring the paw withdrawal latency and threshold. Cartilage destruction was analyzed macroscopically and histomorphologically. The effects of eupatilin on mRNA expression were investigated in interleukin-1β (IL-1β)-stimulated human OA chondrocytes. Eupatilin treatment exhibited clear antinociceptive effects, along with an attenuation of cartilage degradation in OA rats. Additionally, the number of osteoclasts present in the subchondral bone region was significantly decreased following eupatilin treatment. Eupatilin reduced the expression of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), nitrotyrosine and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in cartilage. mRNA levels of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3), MMP13, and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-5 (ADAMTS-5) were reduced in IL-1β-stimulated human OA chondrocytes, while tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) was induced. Phosphorylated protein levels of the c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was reduced by eupatilin. Taken together, these results suggest that eupatilin suppresses oxidative damage and reciprocally enhances extracellular matrix production in articular chondrocytes, making eupatilin a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of OA.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130882
PMCID: PMC4471346  PMID: 26083352
16.  Ursodeoxycholic Acid Ameliorates Pain Severity and Cartilage Degeneration in Monosodium Iodoacetate-Induced Osteoarthritis in Rats 
Immune Network  2014;14(1):45-53.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease characterized by a progressive loss of cartilage. And, increased oxidative stress plays a relevant role in the pathogenesis of OA. Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is a used drug for liver diseases known for its free radical-scavenging property. The objectives of this study were to investigate the in vivo effects of UDCA on pain severity and cartilage degeneration using an experimental OA model and to explore its mode of actions. OA was induced in rats by intra-articular injection of monosodium iodoacetate (MIA) to the knee. Oral administration UDCA was initiated on the day of MIA injection. Limb nociception was assessed by measuring the paw withdrawal latency and threshold. Samples were analyzed macroscopically and histologically. Immunohistochemistry was used to investigate the expression of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, nitrotyrosine and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in knee joints. UDCA showed an antinociceptive property and attenuated cartilage degeneration. OA rats given oral UDCA significantly exhibited a decreased number of osteoclasts in subchondral bone legion compared with the vehicle-treated OA group. UDCA reduced the expression of IL-1β, IL-6, nitrotyrosine and iNOS in articular cartilage. UDCA treatment significantly attenuated the mRNA expression of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3), -13, and ADAMTS5 in IL-1β-stimulated human OA chondrocytes. These results show the inhibitory effects of UDCA on pain production and cartilage degeneration in experimentally induced OA. The chondroprotective properties of UDCA were achieved by suppressing oxidative damage and inhibiting catabolic factors that are implicated in the pathogenesis of cartilage damage in OA.
doi:10.4110/in.2014.14.1.45
PMCID: PMC3942507  PMID: 24605080
Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA); Monosodium iodoacetate (MIA); Osteoarthritis; Oxidative stress
17.  Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract–Mediated Regulation of STAT3 Proteins Contributes to Treg Differentiation and Attenuates Inflammation in a Murine Model of Obesity-Associated Arthritis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e78843.
Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) is a natural flavonoid that exerts anti-inflammatory properties. Obesity is an inflammatory condition and inflammatory cells and their secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules contribute to the pathogenesis of obesity. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that is characterized by inflammation of joints lined by synovium. Previously, we demonstrated that obesity augmented arthritis severity in collagen induced arthritis (CIA), a murine model of human RA. Here, we investigated whether oral administration of GSPE showed antiobesity and anti-arthritic effects in high-fat diet-induced obese (DIO) mice and in obese CIA mice, respectively. The pathophysiologic mechanisms by which GSPE attenuates weight gain and arthritis severity in vivo were also investigated. In DIO mice, GSPE administration significantly inhibited weight gain, reduced fat infiltration in liver and improved serum lipid profiles. The antiobesity effect of GSPE was associated with increased populations of regulatory T (Treg) cells and those of decreased Th17 cells. Decrease of Th17 cells was associated with significant inhibition of their key transcriptional factors, pSTAT3Tyr705 and pSTAT3Ser727. On the contrary, GSPE-induced Treg induction was associated with enhanced pSTAT5 expression. To identify the anti-arthritis effects of GSPE, GSPE was given orally for 7 weeks after type II collagen immunization. GSPE treatment significantly attenuated the development of autoimmune arthritis in obese CIA model. In line with DIO mice, GSPE administration decreased Th17 cells and reciprocally increased Treg cells by regulating STAT proteins in autoimmune arthritis model. The expressions of pro-inflammatory cytokines and nitrotyrosine in synovium were significantly inhibited by GSPE treatment. Taken together, GSPE functions as a reciprocal regulator of T cell differentiation – suppression of Th17 cells and induction of Tregs in both DIO and obese CIA mice. GSPE may act as a therapeutic agent to treat immunologic diseases related with enhanced STAT3 activity such as metabolic disorders and autoimmune diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078843
PMCID: PMC3818494  PMID: 24223854
18.  In vivo action of IL-27: reciprocal regulation of Th17 and Treg cells in collagen-induced arthritis 
Interleukin (IL)-27 is a novel cytokine of the IL-6/IL-12 family that has been reported to be involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and has a pivotal role as both a pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine. We investigated the in vivo effects of IL-27 on arthritis severity in a murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model and its mechanism of action regarding control of regulatory T (Tregs) and IL-17-producing T helper 17 (Th17) cells. IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice showed a lower severity of arthritis. IL-17 expression in the spleens was significantly decreased in IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice compared with that in the CIA model. The Th17 population was decreased in the spleens of IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice, whereas the CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Treg population increased. In vitro studies revealed that IL-27 inhibited IL-17 production in murine CD4+ T cells, and the effect was associated with retinoic acid-related orphan receptor γT and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 inhibition. In contrast, fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) and IL-10 were profoundly augmented by IL-27 treatment. Regarding the suppressive capacity of Treg cells, the proportions of CTLA-4+ (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4), PD-1+ (programmed cell death protein 1) and GITR+ (glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor) Tregs increased in the spleens of IL-27-Fc-treated CIA mice. Furthermore, in vitro differentiated Treg cells with IL-27 exerted a more suppressive capacity on T-cell proliferation. We found that IL-27 acts as a reciprocal regulator of the Th17 and Treg populations in CD4+ cells isolated from healthy human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), as well as from humans with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) PBMCs. Our study suggests that IL-27 has the potential to ameliorate overwhelming inflammation in patients with RA through a reciprocal regulation of Th17 and Treg cells.
doi:10.1038/emm.2013.89
PMCID: PMC3809362  PMID: 24091748
collagen-induced arthritis; interleukin-27; interleukin-17-producing T cells; regulatory T cells; rheumatoid arthritis
19.  Coenzyme Q10 Ameliorates Pain and Cartilage Degradation in a Rat Model of Osteoarthritis by Regulating Nitric Oxide and Inflammatory Cytokines 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69362.
Objective
To investigate the effect of CoenzymeQ10 (CoQ10) on pain severity and cartilage degeneration in an experimental model of rat osteoarthritis (OA).
Materials and Methods
OA was induced in rats by intra-articular injection of monosodium iodoacetate (MIA) to the knee. Oral administration of CoQ10 was initiated on day 4 after MIA injection. Pain severity was assessed by measuring secondary tactile allodynia using the von Frey assessment test. The degree of cartilage degradation was determined by measuring cartilage thickness and the amount of proteoglycan. The mankin scoring system was also used. Expressions of matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-15, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), nitrotyrosine and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) were analyzed using immunohistochemistry.
Results
Treatment with CoQ10 demonstrated an antinociceptive effect in the OA animal model. The reduction in secondary tactile allodynia was shown by an increased pain withdrawal latency and pain withdrawal threshold. CoQ10 also attenuated cartilage degeneration in the osteoarthritic joints. MMP-13, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-15, iNOS, nitrotyrosine and RAGE expressions were upregulated in OA joints and significantly reduced with CoQ10 treatment.
Conclusion
CoQ10 exerts a therapeutic effect on OA via pain suppression and cartilage degeneration by inhibiting inflammatory mediators, which play a vital role in OA pathogenesis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069362
PMCID: PMC3718733  PMID: 23894457
20.  Curcumin Attenuates Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease Severity via In Vivo Regulations on Th1, Th17 and Regulatory T Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67171.
Background
In this study we examined the in vivo and in vitro effects and mechanisms of action of curcumin on the development of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) using a murine model.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Mixed lymphocyte reactions were used to determine the in vitro effects of curcumin. Treatment with curcumin attenuated alloreactive T cell proliferation and inhibited the production of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-17. In a murine acute GVHD model, transplantation of curcumin-treated allogeneic splenocytes into irradiated recipient mice significantly reduced the clinical severity scores of acute GVHD manifested in the liver, skin, colon and lung as compared with animals receiving vehicle-treated splenocytes. c-Fos and c-Jun expression levels in the skin and intestine, which are major target organs, were analyzed using immunohistochemical staining. Expression of both proteins was reduced in epithelial tissues of skin and intestine from curcumin-treated GVHD animals. The IFN-γ-expressing CD4+ splenocytes and IFN-γ-expressing lymph node cells were dramatically decreased in curcumin-treated mice. In contrast, CD4+Foxp3+ splenocytes were increased in the curcumin-treated acute GVHD animals. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that animals transplanted with curcumin-treated allogeneic splenocytes showed increased populations of CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) as well as CD8+ Treg cells, compared to animals administered vehicle-treated splenocytes. Curcumin-treated acute GVHD animals could have a change in B cell subpopulations.
Conclusion/Significance
In the present study, we investigated the efficacy and mechanism of action of curcumin treatment against acute GVHD. The acute GVHD mice administered with curcumin-treated splenocytes showed significantly reduced severity of acute GVHD. Curcumin exerted in vivo preventive effects on acute GVHD by reciprocal regulation of T helper 1 (Th1) and Treg (both CD4+ and CD8+ Treg) cell lineages as well as B cell homeostasis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067171
PMCID: PMC3688629  PMID: 23840617
21.  Temporal differential effects of proinflammatory cytokines on osteoclastogenesis 
Bone destruction and inflammation are closely linked. Cytokines play an important role in inflammatory bone destruction by upregulating the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) ligand (RANKL). The direct role of cytokines that act in a non-RANKL-dependent manner has yet to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the direct osteoclastogenic properties of inflammatory cytokines at different time-points of osteoclastogenesis. Mouse bone marrow macrophages were stimulated with the macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and various concentrations of RANKL. Inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-17 and IL-23, were added to the culture system of osteoclastogenesis. Two time-points of cytokine treatment were set. The ‘early’ effect of each cytokine was investigated at the time of first RANKL treatment, whereas the ‘late’ effect was investigated 48 h after the first RANKL challenge. Osteoclast differentiation and function were assessed using an osteoclast marker [tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)] and by visualization of pit formation. A permissive level of RANKL was required for cytokine-associated osteoclastogenesis in all experiments. In the M-CSF/RANKL monocellular culture system, IL-1β enhanced and IL-6 decreased osteoclast formation in a dose-dependent manner, regardless of temporal differences. Other cytokines showed various responses according to the phase of osteoclast maturation and the concentration of each cytokine and RANKL. Furthermore, luciferase assays showed that both IL-1β and RANKL activated the NF-κB signaling pathway. Collectively, our data revealed that targeting IL-1β may be a promising strategy to inhibit inflammation-associated bone destruction and osteoporosis.
doi:10.3892/ijmm.2013.1269
PMCID: PMC3621814  PMID: 23403591
inflammation; osteoclast; receptor activator nuclear factor-κB ligand; interleukin-1β; interleukin-6; nuclear factor-κB
22.  Periarticular Osteoporosis Is a Prominent Feature in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis: Estimation Using Shaft to Periarticular Bone Mineral Density Ratio 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2013;28(2):287-294.
We aimed to quantify periarticular osteoporosis and investigate its significance in 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 106 controls. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to determine the ratio of shaft to periarticular bone mineral density (BMD) as an index of periarticular demineralization. Periarticular osteoporosis was measured by conventional radiography. The BMDs of shaft and periarticular regions in eight designated areas on proximal phalanges were quantified. Clinical variables were examined to identify risk factors for periarticular osteoporosis. The assessment of periarticular osteoporosis on X-ray images reached a moderate degree of interobserver agreement among four physicians (ĸ = 0.47). For BMD quantification, we designed three types of mathematical formulae: the ratio of shaft to periarticular BMD, the mean of the ratios, and the ratio of the sums. These ratios were significantly higher in the patients with early RA (disease duration ≤ 3 yr) than in controls (P < 0.01). The findings were not as distinctive in patients with established RA. Body mass index, cumulative dose of corticosteroid, and C-terminal telopeptide were correlated with BMD ratios. Conclusively, DXA-assisted localized quantification and BMD ratio calculations are feasible for assessing periarticular demineralization. Periarticular osteoporosis is a relatively distinctive feature of early RA.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.2.287
PMCID: PMC3565142  PMID: 23399828
Bone Density; Arthrits; Rheumatoid; Periarticular Osteopenia
23.  Grape-Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract as Suppressors of Bone Destruction in Inflammatory Autoimmune Arthritis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51377.
Chronic autoimmune inflammation, which is commonly observed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), disrupts the delicate balance between bone resorption and formation causing thedestruction of the bone and joints. We undertook this study to verify the effects of natural grape-seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE), an antioxidant, on chronic inflammation and bone destruction. GSPE administration ameliorated the arthritic symptoms of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), which are representative of cartilage and bone destruction. GSPE treatment reduced the formation of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive multinucleated cells and osteoclast activity and increased differentiation of mature osteoblasts. Receptor activator of NFκB ligand expression in fibroblasts from RA patients was abrogated with GSPE treatment. GSPE blocked human peripheral blood mononuclear cell-derived osteoclastogenesis and acted as an antioxidant. GSPE improved the arthritic manifestations of CIA mice by simultaneously suppressing osteoclast differentiation and promoting osteoblast differentiation. Our results suggest that GSPE may be beneficial for the treatment of inflammation-associated bone destruction.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051377
PMCID: PMC3519627  PMID: 23251512
24.  Obesity aggravates the joint inflammation in a collagen-induced arthritis model through deviation to Th17 differentiation 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2012;44(7):424-431.
White fat cells secrete adipokines that induce inflammation and obesity has been reported to be characterized by high serum levels of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-α. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a prototype of inflammatory arthritis, but the relationship between RA and obesity is controversial. We made an obese inflammatory arthritis model: obese collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). C57BL/6 mice were fed a 60-kcal high fat diet (HFD) from the age of 4 weeks and they were immunized twice with type II collagen (CII). After immunization, the obese CIA mice showed higher arthritis index scores and histology scores and a more increased incidence of developing arthritis than did the lean CIA mice. After treatment with CII, mixed lymphocyte reaction also showed CII-specific response more intensely in the obese CIA mice than lean CIA. The anti-CII IgG and anti-CII IgG2a levels in the sera of the obese CIA mice were higher than those of the lean CIA mice. The number of Th17 cells was higher and the IL-17 mRNA expression of the splenocytes in the obese CIA mice was higher than that of the lean CIA mice. Obese CIA mice also showed high IL-17 expression on synovium in immunohistochemistry. Although obesity may not play a pathogenic role in initiating arthritis, it could play an important role in amplifying the inflammation of arthritis through the Th1/Th17 response. The obese CIA murine model will be an important tool when we investigate the effect of several therapeutic target molecules to treat RA.
doi:10.3858/emm.2012.44.7.047
PMCID: PMC3406287  PMID: 22513335
arthritis, experimental; inflammation; mice; obesity; Th17 cells
25.  Grape seed proanthocyanidin extract ameliorates monosodium iodoacetate-induced osteoarthritis 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2011;43(10):561-570.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is an age-related joint disease that is characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage and chronic pain. Oxidative stress is considered one of the pathophysiological factors in the progression of OA. We investigated the effects of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE), which is an antioxidant, on monosodium iodoacetate (MIA)-induced arthritis of the knee joint of rat, which is an animal model of human OA. GSPE (100 mg/kg or 300 mg/kg) or saline was given orally three times per week for 4 weeks after the MIA injection. Pain was measured using the paw withdrawal latency (PWL), the paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) and the hind limb weight bearing ability. Joint damage was assessed using histological and microscopic analysis and microcomputerized tomography. Matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP13) and nitrotyrosine were detected using immunohistochemistry. Administration of GSPE to the MIA-treated rats significantly increased the PWL and PWT and this resulted in recovery of hind paw weight distribution (P < 0.05). GSPE reduced the loss of chondrocytes and proteoglycan, the production of MMP13, nitrotyrosine and IL-1β and the formation of osteophytes, and it reduced the number of subchondral bone fractures in the MIA-treated rats. These results indicate that GSPE is antinociceptive and it is protective against joint damage in the MIA-treated rat model of OA. GSPE could open up novel avenues for the treatment of OA.
doi:10.3858/emm.2011.43.10.062
PMCID: PMC3222817  PMID: 21795829
antioxidants; grape seed proanthocyanidins; inflammation; interleukin-1β; osteoarthritis

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