Osteoclasts (OC) are bone-resorbing, multinucleated cells that are generated via fusion of OC precursors (OCP). The frequency of OCP is elevated in patients with erosive inflammatory arthritis and metabolic bone diseases. Although many cytokines and cell surface receptors are known to participate in osteoclastogenesis, the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of this cellular transformation are poorly understood. Herein, we focused our studies on the dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP), a seven-pass-transmembrane receptor-like protein known to be essential for cell-to-cell fusion during osteoclastogenesis. We identified an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM) in the cytoplasmic tail of DC-STAMP, and developed an anti-DC-STAMP monoclonal antibody 1A2 that detected DC-STAMP expression on human tumor giant cells, blocked OC formation in vitro, and distinguished four patterns of human PBMC with a positive correlation to OC potential. In freshly isolated monocytes, DC-STAMPhigh cells produced a higher number of OC in culture than DC-STAMPlow cells and the surface expression of DC-STAMP gradually declined during osteoclastogenesis. Importantly, we showed that DC-STAMP is phosphorylated on its tyrosine residues and physically interacts with SHP-1 and CD16, an SH2-domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase and an ITAM-associated protein, respectively. Taken together, these data show that DC-STAMP is a potential OCP biomarker in inflammatory arthritis. Moreover, in addition to its effect on cell fusion, DC-STAMP dynamically regulates cell signaling during osteoclastogenesis.
DC-STAMP; osteoclast; signaling; ITIM; ITAM; SHP-1; OCP; biomarker; Ps; PsA; CD16
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease with episodic flares in affected joints, whose etiology is largely unknown. Recent studies in mice demonstrated alterations in lymphatics from affected joints precede flares. Thus, we aimed to develop novel methods for measuring lymph node pressure and lymph viscosity in limbs of mice. Pressure measurements were performed by inserting a glass micropipette connected to a pressure transducer into popliteal lymph nodes (PLN) or axillary lymph nodes (ALN) of mice and determined that the lymphatic pressures were 9 and 12 cm of water, respectively. We are also developing methods for measuring lymph viscosity in lymphatic vessels afferent to PLN, which can be measured by multi-photon fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (MP-FRAP) of FITC-BSA injected into the hind footpad. These results demonstrate the potential of lymph node pressure and lymph viscosity measurements, and warrant future studies to test these outcomes as biomarkers of arthritic flare.
Rheumatoid Arthritis; Lymph Node; Flare; Lymphatic Pressure; Lymph Viscosity
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is characterized by focal bone erosions mediated by osteoclasts at the bone–pannus junction. The bulk of research over the past decade has centered on mechanisms that underlie osteoclastogenesis along with new insights into osteoimmunology; however, recent advances that focus on steps that lead to new bone formation are beginning to emerge. New revelations about bone formation may have direct relevance to PsA given the presence of enthesophytes, syndesmophytes, and bony ankylosis frequently observed in patients with this disorder. In this review, we discuss current developments in the pathogenesis of new bone formation, novel imaging approaches to study bone remodeling and highlight innovative approaches to study the effect of inflammation on bone. Lastly, we discuss promising therapies that target joint inflammation and osteitis with the potential to mediate pathologic bone formation.
Psoriatic arthritis; Ankylosing spondylitis; Osteoclastogenesis; Osteoblastogenesis; New bone formation; Bone biology; Imaging
As a group, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients exhibit increased risk of infection, and those treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy are at further risk. This increased susceptibility may result from a compromised humoral immune response. Therefore, we asked if short-term effector (d5-d10) and memory (1 month or later) B cell responses to antigen were compromised in RA patients treated with anti-TNF therapy.
Peripheral blood samples were obtained from RA patients, including a subset treated with anti-TNF, and from healthy controls to examine influenza-specific responses following seasonal influenza vaccination. Serum antibody was measured by hemagglutination inhibition assay. The frequency of influenza vaccine-specific antibody secreting cells and memory B cells was measured by EliSpot. Plasmablast (CD19+IgD-CD27hiCD38hi) induction was measured by flow cytometry.
Compared with healthy controls, RA patients treated with anti-TNF exhibited significantly decreased influenza-specific serum antibody and memory B cell responses throughout multiple years of the study. The short-term influenza-specific effector B cell response was also significantly decreased in RA patients treated with anti-TNF as compared with healthy controls, and correlated with decreased influenza-specific memory B cells and serum antibody present at one month following vaccination.
RA patients treated with anti-TNF exhibit a compromised immune response to influenza vaccine, consisting of impaired effector and consequently memory B cell and antibody responses. The results suggest that the increased incidence and severity of infection observed in this patient population could be a consequence of diminished antigen-responsiveness. Therefore, this patient population would likely benefit from repeat vaccination and from vaccines with enhanced immunogenicity.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease with episodic flares in affected joints. However, how arthritic flare occurs only in select joints during a systemic autoimmune disease remains an enigma. To better understand these observations, we developed longitudinal imaging outcomes of synovitis and lymphatic flow in mouse models of RA, and identified that asymmetric knee flare is associated with ipsilateral popliteal lymph node (PLN) collapse and the translocation of CD23+/CD21hi B-cells (B-in) into the paracortical sinus space of the node. In order to understand the relationship between this B-in translocation and lymph drainage from flaring joints, we tested the hypothesis that asymmetric tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced knee arthritis is associated with ipsilateral PLN and iliac lymph node (ILN) collapse, B-in translocation, and decreased afferent lymphatic flow.
TNF transgenic (Tg) mice with asymmetric knee arthritis were identified by contrast-enhanced (CE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and PLN were phenotyped as "expanding" or "collapsed" using LNcap threshold = 30 (Arbitrary Unit (AU)). Inflammatory-erosive arthritis was confirmed by histology. Afferent lymphatic flow to PLN and ILN was quantified by near infrared imaging of injected indocyanine green (NIR-ICG). The B-in population in PLN and ILN was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and flow cytometry. Linear regression analyses of ipsilateral knee synovial volume and afferent lymphatic flow to PLN and ILN were performed.
Afferent lymph flow to collapsed nodes was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than flow to expanding nodes by NIR-ICG imaging, and this occurred ipsilaterally. While both collapsed and expanding PLN and ILN had a significant increase (P < 0.05) of B-in compared to wild type (WT) and pre-arthritic TNF-Tg nodes, B-in of expanding lymph nodes (LN) resided in follicular areas while B-in of collapsed LN were present within LYVE-1+ lymphatic vessels. A significant correlation (P < 0.002) was noted in afferent lymphatic flow between ipsilateral PLN and ILN during knee synovitis.
Asymmetric knee arthritis in TNF-Tg mice occurs simultaneously with ipsilateral PLN and ILN collapse. This is likely due to translocation of the expanded B-in population to the lumen of the lymphatic vessels, resulting in a dramatic decrease in afferent lymphatic flow. PLN collapse phenotype can serve as a new biomarker of knee flare.
Osteoclasts (OC) are multinucleated bone resorbing cells that form via RANKL-induced fusion of heterogeneous mononuclear OC precursors (OCP). Currently, there are no unique surface markers to distinguish these OCP populations, which are diagnostic for erosive and metabolic bone diseases using culture assays. Thus, we investigated expression of DC-STAMP, a surface receptor required for OCP fusion, during osteoclastogenesis in vitro using a novel monoclonal antibody (1A2). Immunoprecipitation-western blot analysis of OCP membrane proteins detected 106 kDa dimeric and 53 kDa monomeric DC-STAMP in non-denaturing and denaturing conditions respectively, with greater sensitivity vs. rabbit anti-sera (KR104). 1A2 also detected 99.9% of undifferentiated monocytes as a single population by flow cytometry with a MFI 100-fold over background, while KR104 was not useful in this assay. Functionally, 1A2 inhibited OCP fusion in vitro. RANKL stimulation of OCP induced DC-STAMPlo and DC-STAMPhi cells, which mature into OC and mononuclear cells respectively as determined by fluorescent microscopy and TRAP assays. Addition of DC-STAMPhi cells to purified DC-STAMPlo cultures produced larger, more nucleated OC vs. pure DC-STAMPlo cultures. RT-qPCR analysis of these two populations showed that OC markers (Trap and Oc-stamp) and fusogenic gene expression (Cd9 and Cd47), were significantly increased in DC-STAMPlo vs. DC-STAMPhi cells. Collectively, these results demonstrate that DC-STAMP is expressed on OCP as a dimer, which is efficiently detected by 1A2 via flow cytometry. RANKL induces osteoclastogenesis by stimulating DC-STAMP internalization in some OCP, and these DC-STAMPlo cells display the “master fusogen” phenotype. In contrast, DC-STAMPhi OCP can only act as mononuclear donors.
Dendritic Cell-Specific Transmembrane Protein (DC-STAMP); Osteoclast Precursors (OCP); Cell Fusion
In contrast to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Jaccoud arthritis (JA) joint inflammation in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is nonerosive. Although the mechanism responsible is unknown, the anti-osteoclastogenic cytokine interferon-alpha (IFN-α), whose transcriptome is present in SLE monocytes, may be responsible. To test this, we examined effects of IFN-α versus lupus disease on osteoclasts and erosion in the NZBxNZW F1 SLE mouse model with K/BxN serum-induced arthritis (SIA).
Elevated systemic IFN-α levels were obtained by administration of an adenoviral vector expressing IFN-α (Ad-IFN-α). SLE disease was marked by anti-dsDNA antibody titer and proteinuria, and Ifi202 and Mx1 expression represented the IFN-α transcriptome. Micro-CT was used to evaluate bone erosions. Flow cytometry for CD11b and CD11c was used to evaluate the frequency of circulating osteoclast precursors (OCP) and myeloid dendritic cells (mDC) in blood.
Administration of Ad-IFN-α to NZBxNZW F1 mice induced osteopetrosis. Pre-autoimmune NZBxNZW F1 mice are fully susceptible to focal erosions in the setting of SIA. However, NZBxNZW F1 mice with high anti-dsDNA antibody titers and the IFN-α transcriptome were protected against bone erosions. Ad-IFN-α pre-treatment of NZW mice before K/BxN serum administration also resulted in protection against bone erosion (r2=0.4720, p<0.01), which was associated with a decrease in circulating CD11b+CD11c− OCP, and a concomitant increase in CD11b+CD11c+ cells (r2=0.6330, p<0.05) that are phenotypic of mDC.
These findings suggest that IFN-α in SLE shifts monocyte development toward mDC at the expense of osteoclastogenesis thereby resulting in decreased bone erosion.
Jaccoud arthritis (JA); Lupus; Osteoclast; Interferon-alpha (IFN-α)
To develop a dedicated RF coil for high-resolution MR imaging of finger joints at 3T to improve diagnostic evaluation of arthritic diseases.
Materials and Methods
A dedicated cylindrical RF receive coil was developed for imaging finger joints at 3T. A planar coil, a saddle coil and a 1.5T coil with similar design as the dedicated coil were also constructed to compare imaging performance with the dedicated coil. A phantom was used for quantitative evaluation. Three-dimensional images were obtained on four subjects and a cadaver finger specimen using isotropic resolution of 160 microns in 9:32 minutes. The images were reviewed by 2 musculoskeletal radiologists.
The dedicated finger coil provided higher signal-to-noise and greater signal uniformity than the other coils. It supported high-resolution imaging that demonstrated anatomical details of the entire finger joint, and in the subject study, revealed abnormalities not detectable by traditional clinical resolution.
The dedicated finger coil optimizes the potential advantages of 3T scanners compared to lower field magnets. Use of this coil should facilitate early diagnosis, improve assessment of treatment response and provide better understanding of basic mechanisms that underlie arthritis.
High-resolution MRI; MR microscopy; RF receive coil; musculoskeletal MRI; finger joints; arthritis
Human peripheral blood dendritic cells (PBDC) are a rare population comprised of several distinctive subsets. Analysis of these cells has been hindered by their low frequency. In this study, we report a novel direct ex vivo 11-color flow cytometric assay that combines subset identification with analysis of activation status and endocytic ability of three major PBDC subsets (CD1c+CD11c+ “MDC1,” CD141+CD11c+ “MDC2,” and CD303+CD11c− “PDC”) within a single platform. This method eliminates the need for DC enrichment, isolation, or prolonged culture. Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from healthy donors are incubated with FITC-dextran directly ex vivo, prior to cell surface staining with various markers. As expected, PBDC identified by this assay express low levels of CD40 and CD86 directly ex vivo, and significantly upregulate expression of these molecules upon stimulation with toll-like receptor ligands LPS and CpG oligonucleotides. In addition, PDC internalize FITC-labeled dextran poorly in comparison to MDC1 and MDC2 subsets. Specificity of FITC-dextran endocytosis is further verified by imaging flow cytometry. Furthermore, the combination of surface markers used in this assay reveals a previously unreported CD4+CD11c+CD303−CD1c-CD141− cell population. Taken together, this assay is a rapid and cost-effective method that avoids manipulation of PBDC while providing direct ex vivo high-dimensional flow cytometry data for PBDC studies.
Investigation of the effect of lymphatic inhibition on joint and draining lymph node pathology during the course of arthritis progression in mice.
TNF transgenic (TNF-Tg) mice were used as a model of chronic inflammatory arthritis. Mice received contrast enhanced MRI to obtain ankle and knee joint synovial volumes and draining popliteal lymph node (PLN) volumes before and 8 weeks after treatment with VEGFR-3 or VEGFR-2 neutralizing antibodies, or isotype IgG. The animals were subjected to near-infrared lymphatic imaging to determine the effect of VEGFR-3 neutralization on lymph transport from paws to draining PLNs prior to sacrifice. Lymphatic vessel formation and morphology of joints and PLNs were examined by histology, immunohistochemistry, and RT-PCR.
Compared to IgG treatment, VEGFR-3 neutralizing antibody treatment significantly decreased the size of PLNs, the number of lymphatic vessels in joints and PLNs, the lymphatic drainage from paws to PLNs, and the number of VEGF-C expressing CD11b+ myeloid cells in PLNs. However, it increased the synovial volumes and inflammatory area in ankle and knee joints. VEGFR-2 neutralizing antibody, in contrast, inhibited both lymphangiogenesis and joint inflammation.
Lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic drainage are reciprocally related to the severity of joint lesions during the development of chronic arthritis. Lymphatic drainage plays a beneficial role in controlling the progression of chronic inflammation.
Lymphatic drainage; lymphangiogenesis; inflammation; lymph nodes; in vivo imagining
To identify independent predictors of radiographic progression in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) for patients treated with adalimumab or placebo in the Adalimumab Effectiveness in PsA Trial (ADEPT).
Univariate analyses and multivariate linear regression analyses assessed risk for radiographic progression (change in modified total Sharp score, ΔmTSS > 0.5) from baseline to week 24 for C-reactive protein (CRP) and other baseline variables, and for 24-week time-averaged CRP (univariate analysis only). Subanalyses determined mean ΔmTSS for CRP subgroups. Analyses were post hoc, with observed data.
One hundred and forty-four adalimumab-treated patients and 152 placebo-treated patients were assessed. Mean CRP was 64% lower by week 2 with adalimumab and essentially unchanged with placebo. Univariate analyses indicated that elevated CRP at baseline and time-averaged CRP were strongly associated with radiographic progression for placebo-treated patients but not for adalimumab-treated patients. Multivariate analysis confirmed that elevated baseline CRP was the only strong independent risk factor for radiographic progression (for CRP ≥1.0 mg/dl: odds ratio = 3.28, 95% confidence interval = 1.66 to 6.51, P < 0.001). Adalimumab treatment reduced risk of progression approximately fivefold. The difference between mean ΔmTSS for adalimumab versus placebo was greatest for patients with baseline CRP ≥2.0 mg/dl (-0.5 vs. 2.6).
Systemic inflammation in PsA, as indicated by elevated baseline CRP, was the only strong independent predictor of radiographic progression. This association was observed predominantly for placebo-treated patients. Adalimumab treatment substantially reduced the overall risk of radiographic progression, and provided greatest radiographic benefit for patients with the greatest CRP concentrations at baseline.
Trial registration: NCT00195689.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory arthritis characterized by bone erosion mediated by osteoclasts (OC). Our previous studies showed an elevated frequency of OC precursors (OCP) in PsA patients. Here, we examined if OC arise from CD16-positive monocytes in PsA.
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) or monocytes were isolated from human peripheral blood and sorted based on CD16 expression. Sorted cells were cultured alone or with bone wafers in the presence of receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF). Enumeration and bone erosion activity of OC were examined after culture. The effects of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα), OC-promoting (M-CSF plus RANKL), and dendritic cell (DC)-promoting (GM-CSF plus interleukin (IL)-4) cytokines on CD16 surface expression were examined by flow cytometry.
PsA and psoriasis (Ps) subjects had a higher percentage of circulating inflammatory CD14+CD16+ cells than healthy controls (HC). Exposure of cells to OC-promoting, but not DC-promoting media, was associated with CD16 up-regulation. PBMC of Ps and PsA had a higher frequency of cells expressing intermediate levels of CD16. OC were mainly derived from CD16+ cells in PsA. Increased CD16 expression was associated with a higher bone erosion activity in PsA.
An increased frequency of circulating CD14+CD16+ cells was noted in PsA compared to controls, and intermediate levels of CD16 may suggest a transitional state of OCP during osteoclastogenesis. Intriguingly, TNFα blocked CD16 expression on a subset of CD14+ monocytes. Collectively, our data suggest that CD16 has the potential to serve as an OCP marker in inflammatory arthritis.
Bone is a highly dynamic organ that interacts with a wide array cells and tissues. Recent studies have unveiled unanticipated connections between the immune and skeletal systems and this relationship led to the development a new field, osteoimmunology. This field will enable investigators to translate basic science findings in bone biology to clinical applications for inflammatory joint diseases such as psoriatic arthritis (PsA). In this review, we will examine the disruption of bone homeostasis in PsA and discuss the pivotal role of osteoclasts and osteoblasts as well as signaling pathways in the altered remodeling observed in this inflammatory arthritis. We will also discuss the effects of TNF inhibition on both bone resorption and new bone formation in PsA.
psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis; osteoclast; tumor necrosis factor; osteoblast; dickkopf-1
While bone marrow edema (BME) detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a biomarker of arthritis, its nature remains poorly understood due to the limitations of clinical studies. In this study, MRI of murine arthritis was used to elucidate its cellular composition and vascular involvement.
BME was quantified using normalized bone marrow intensity (NBMI) from precontrast MRI and normalized marrow contrast enhancement (NMCE) following intravenous administration of gadopentate dimeglumine. Wild-type (WT) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-transgenic mice were scanned from 2 to 5 months of age, followed by histologic or fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis of marrow. In efficacy studies, TNF-transgenic mice were treated with anti-TNF or placebo for 8 weeks, and then were studied using bimonthly MRI and histologic analysis.
NBMI values were similar in WT and TNF-transgenic mice at 2 months. The values in WT mice steadily decreased thereafter, with mean values becoming significantly different from those of TNF-transgenic mice at 3.5 months (mean ± SD 0.29 ± 0.08 versus 0.46 ± 0.13; P < 0.05). Red to yellow marrow transformation occurred in WT but not TNF-transgenic mice, as observed histologically at 5 months. The marrow of TNF-transgenic mice that received anti-TNF therapy converted to yellow marrow, with lower NBMI values versus placebo at 6 weeks (mean ± SD 0.26 ± 0.07 versus 0.61 ± 0.22; P < 0.05). FACS analysis of bone marrow revealed a significant correlation between NBMI values and CD11b+ monocytes (R2 = 0.91, P = 0.0028). Thresholds for “normal” red marrow versus pathologic BME were established, and it was also found that inflammatory marrow is highly permeable to contrast agent.
BME signals in TNF-transgenic mice are caused by yellow to red marrow conversion, with increased myelopoiesis and increased marrow permeability. The factors that mediate these changes warrant further investigation.
Osteoclast precursors arise from the CD14+ CD16- population in controls but details about cell surface marker expression and functional characteristics of these cells is unknown, particularly in patients with inflammatory arthritis. In a recent issue of Arthritis, Research and Therapy, Lari and colleagues found that osteoclasts developed from a proliferative CD14+ CD16- subset in healthy controls. These cells took on the morphology of osteoclasts, expressed mRNA for osteoclast-related genes and excavated pits on bone wafers. These findings provide new insights into monocyte diversity and provide evidence that osteoclast precursors arise from a small proliferating monocyte population in controls. Additional studies are needed in patients with inflammatory arthritis
Development of longitudinal 3D outcomes of inflammation and bone erosion in murine arthritis using contrast enhanced (CE) MRI and in vivo micro-CT; and in a pilot study, to determine the value of entrance criteria by age versus synovial volume in therapeutic intervention studies.
CE-MRI and in vivo micro-CT was performed on TNF-Tg and WT littermates to quantify the synovial and popliteal lymph node (LN) volumes and patella and talus bone volumes, respectively, which were validated with histology. These longitudinal outcome measures were used to assess the natural history of inflammatory-erosive arthritis. We also performed anti-TNF versus placebo efficacy studies in TNF-Tg mice in which treatment was initiated either by age (4–5 months) or synovial volume (3mm3 as detected by CE-MRI). Linear regression was performed to analyze the correlation between synovitis and focal erosion.
CE-MRI demonstrated the highly variable nature of TNF-induced joint inflammation. Initiation of treatment by synovial volume produced significantly larger treatment effects on synovial volume (p=0.04) and lymph node volume (p<0.01) than initiation by age. By correlating the MRI and microCT data we were able to demonstrate a significant relationship between changes in synovial and patellar volumes (R2 =0.75; p<0.01).
In vivo CE-MRI and micro-CT 3D outcome measures are powerful tools that accurately demonstrate the progression of inflammatory-erosive arthritis in mice. These methods can be used to identify mice with arthritis of similar severity before intervention studies are initiated and thus minimize heterogeneity in outcome studies of chronic arthritis seen between genetically identical littermates.
Inflammatory Arthritis; Animal Model; In vivo Imaging; 3D-MRI; Micro-CT
The receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL), its cognate receptor RANK, and its natural decoy receptor osteoprotegerin have been identified as the final effector molecules of osteoclastic bone resorption. This has provided an ideal target for therapeutic interventions in metabolic bone disease. As described in previous reviews in this supplement, RANKL signaling is required for osteoclast differentiation, activation, and survival. Furthermore, in vivo inhibition of RANKL leads to immediate osteoclast apoptosis, and there are no in vivo models of bone resorption that are refractory to RANKL inhibition. Thus, the only step remaining in the development of a clinical intervention is the generation of a safe, effective, and specific drug that can inhibit RANKL in humans. Here we review the clinical development of denosumab (formerly known as AMG 162), which is a fully human mAb directed against RANKL. This discussion includes the breadth of 21 human studies that have led to the current phase 3 clinical trials seeking approval for use of this agent to treat postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density (osteoporosis) and patients with metastatic lytic bone lesions (multiple myeloma, and prostate and breast cancer).
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic and erosive form of arthritis of unknown cause. We aimed to characterize the PsA phenotype using gene expression profiling and comparing it with healthy control subjects and patients rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Peripheral blood cells (PBCs) of 19 patients with active PsA and 19 age- and sex-matched control subjects were used in the analyses of PsA, with blood samples collected in PaxGene tubes. A significant alteration in the pattern of expression of 313 genes was noted in the PBCs of PsA patients on Affymetrix U133A arrays: 257 genes were expressed at reduced levels in PsA, and 56 genes were expressed at increased levels, compared with controls. Downregulated genes tended to cluster to certain chromosomal regions, including those containing the psoriasis susceptibility loci PSORS1 and PSORS2. Among the genes with the most significantly reduced expression were those involved in downregulation or suppression of innate and acquired immune responses, such as SIGIRR, STAT3, SHP1, IKBKB, IL-11RA, and TCF7, suggesting inappropriate control that favors proin-flammatory responses. Several members of the MAPK signaling pathway and tumor suppressor genes showed reduced expression. Three proinflammatory genes—S100A8, S100A12, and thioredoxin—showed increased expression. Logistic regression and recursive partitioning analysis determined that one gene, nucleoporin 62 kDa, could correctly classify all controls and 94.7% of the PsA patients. Using a dataset of 48 RA samples for comparison, the combination of two genes, MAP3K3 followed by CACNA1S, was enough to correctly classify all RA and PsA patients. Thus, PBC gene expression profiling identified a gene expression signature that differentiated PsA from RA, and PsA from controls. Several novel genes were differentially expressed in PsA and may prove to be diagnostic biomarkers or serve as new targets for the development of therapies.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory joint disease characterized by extensive bone resorption. The mechanisms underlying this matrix loss have not been elucidated. We report here that blood samples from PsA patients, particularly those with bone erosions visible on plain radiographs, exhibit a marked increase in osteoclast precursors (OCPs) compared with those from healthy controls. Moreover, PsA PBMCs readily formed osteoclasts in vitro without exogenous receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) or MCSF. Both osteoprotegerin (OPG) and anti-TNF antibodies inhibited osteoclast formation. Additionally, cultured PsA PBMCs spontaneously secreted higher levels of TNF-α than did healthy controls. In vivo, OCP frequency declined substantially in PsA patients following treatment with anti-TNF agents. Immunohistochemical analysis of subchondral bone and synovium revealed RANK-positive perivascular mononuclear cells and osteoclasts in PsA specimens. RANKL expression was dramatically upregulated in the synovial lining layer, while OPG immunostaining was restricted to the endothelium. These results suggest a model for understanding the pathogenesis of aggressive bone erosions in PsA. OCPs arise from TNF-α–activated PBMCs that migrate to the inflamed synovium and subchondral bone, where they are exposed to unopposed RANKL and TNF-α. This leads to osteoclastogenesis at the erosion front and in subchondral bone, resulting in a bidirectional assault on psoriatic bone.
There is mounting evidence indicating that the synovial fibroblast is a direct effector of tissue injury and matrix remodeling in inflammatory synovitis. Through the elaboration of effector signals including cytokines and chemokines, mesenchymal cells stimulate or suppress inflammation via autocrine and paracrine mechanisms. Synovial fibroblasts are the principal cells mediating joint destruction through secretion of metalloproteinases, and recent evidence suggests that they may also promote bone resorption by stimulating osteoclastogenesis. Moreover, they may play an integral role in the initial phases of synovitis by releasing chemokines that recruit leukocytes to the joint, and cytokines that trigger angiogenesis. Studies focusing on synoviocyte-leukocyte interactions mediated via the cytokine network and the role of cell-cell contact in driving synoviocyte activation will help define the complex interplay that leads to the initiation and perpetuation of synovial inflammation.
chemokines; cytokines; effector cell; rheumatoid arthritis; synovial fibroblast; synovial membrane