The arthritis severity locus Cia5d is a novel genetic regulator of the invasive properties of synovial fibroblasts

Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA.
Arthritis & Rheumatology (Impact Factor: 7.76). 08/2008; 58(8):2296-306. DOI: 10.1002/art.23610
Source: PubMed


The synovial fibroblast, or fibroblast-like synoviocyte (FLS), has a central role in pannus invasion and destruction of cartilage and bone in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, regulation of the FLS remains incompletely understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether the invasive properties of FLS are genetically regulated by arthritis severity loci.
DA rats (arthritis susceptible) and rat strains congenic for arthritis-protective intervals were studied. Primary FLS cell lines were generated from each strain and used in a well-established FLS invasion model through a collagen-rich barrier. Cells or culture supernatants were analyzed for gene expression, activity of different matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cytoskeleton integrity, and cell proliferation.
The median number of FLS from DA.F344(Cia5d) rats that invaded through the collagen-rich barrier was reduced 86.5% compared with the median number of invading FLS from DA rats. Histologic examination showed that DA.F344(Cia5d) rats preserved a normal joint without pannus, hyperplasia, or erosions. FLS from DA.F344(Cia5d) rats produced significantly lower levels of active MMP-2 compared with FLS from DA rats, but the levels of proMMP-2 and MMP-2 messenger RNA in DA.F344(Cia5d) rats were similar to those in DA rats. Treatment of FLS from DA rats with an MMP-2 inhibitor reduced cell invasion to a level similar to that in DA.F344(Cia5d) rats, demonstrating that MMP-2 activity accounted for the difference between FLS from these 2 strains. Analysis of MMP-2-activating pathways revealed increased levels of soluble membrane type 1 (MT1)-MMP in DA rats compared with DA.F344(Cia5d) rats.
These data represent the first evidence for a genetic component in the regulation of FLS invasion. A gene located within the Cia5d interval accounts for this effect and operates via the regulation of soluble MT1-MMP production and MMP-2 activation. These observations suggest novel potential pathways for prognostication and therapy.

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    • "Synovial fibroblasts from DA rats were isolated by collagenase digestion, cultured as described previously and used after passage 4 [27]. After four passages, the cells were morphologically homogeneous and exhibited the appearance of synovial fibroblasts, with a typical bipolar configuration visualized by inverse microscopy. "
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    ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are likely to play crucial roles in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of this study was to determine the key TLRs in synovium and explore their roles in the activation of fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) mediated by T cells in arthritis. Pristane-induced arthritis (PIA) was established by subcutaneous injection with pristane at the base of the rat's tail. TLR expression in synovium from PIA rats was detected at different time points by performing real-time PCR. Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)) was intra-articularly administrated to PIA rats, and arthritis was monitored macroscopically and microscopically. Synovial TLR3 was detected by immunohistochemical staining. Rat FLSs were stimulated with pristane-primed T cells or pristane-primed, T-cell conditioned medium. The intervention of TLR3 in FLSs was achieved by specific short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) or an antibody. The migration ability of FLSs was measured by using the scratch test, and gene expression was detected by using real-time PCR. FLSs from RA patients were stimulated with various cytokines and TLR ligands, and TLR3 expression was detected by performing real-time PCR. In addition, with different concentrations of poly(I:C) stimulation, TLR3 expression of FLSs from RA patients and patients with osteoarthritis (OA) was compared. Synovium TLR3 displayed early and persistent overexpression in PIA rats. TLR3 was expressed in FLSs, and local treatment with poly(I:C) synergistically aggravated the arthritis. Rat FLSs co-cultured with pristane-primed T cells showed strengthened migration ability and significant upregulation of TLR3, IFN-β, IL-6 and matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP3) expression, which could also be induced by pristane-primed, T-cell conditioned medium. The upregulation of cytokines and MMPs was blocked by shRNA or TLR3 antibodies. In RA FLSs with cytokine or TLR ligand stimulation, TLR3 expression exhibited remarkable upregulation. Furthermore, RA FLSs showed higher reactivity than OA FLSs to poly(I:C). TLR3 in the synovium of PIA rats was overexpressed, and activation of the TLR3 signaling pathway could aggravate this arthritis. The induction of TLR3 in FLSs resulted from T cell-derived inflammatory stimulation and could further mediate FLS activation in arthritis. We conclude that TLR3 upregulation of FLSs activated by T cells results in articular inflammation.
    Arthritis research & therapy 06/2011; 13(3):R103. DOI:10.1186/ar3384 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    • "We also determined that Cia5d regulates the invasive properties of FLSs, thus providing an explanation for its role in joint damage [15]. The arthritis gene located within Cia5d controls the FLS production of soluble membrane-type 1 (MT1)-matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and activation of MMP-2 [15]. This was the first time that FLS phenotypes were found to be genetically regulated. "
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    ABSTRACT: The in vitro invasive properties of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) have been shown to correlate with disease severity and radiographic damage. We recently determined that FLSs obtained from pristane-induced arthritis (PIA)-susceptible DA rats are also highly invasive in the same in vitro assay through Matrigel. The transfer of alleles derived from the arthritis-resistant F344 strain at the arthritis severity locus Cia5d (RNO10), as in DA.F344(Cia5d) congenics, was enough to significantly and specifically reduce the invasive properties of FLSs. This genetically controlled difference in FLS invasion involves increased production of soluble membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) by DA, and is dependent on increased activation of MMP-2. In the present study we aimed to characterize the pattern of gene expression that correlates with differences in invasion in order to identify pathways regulated by the Cia5d locus. Synovial tissues were collected from DA and DA.F344(Cia5d) rats 21 days after the induction of PIA. Tissues were digested and FLSs isolated. After a minimum of four passages, FLSs were plated on Matrigel-covered dishes at similar densities, followed by RNA extraction. Illumina RatRef-12 expression BeadChip arrays were used. Expression data were normalized, followed by t-test, logistic regression, and cluster analysis. Real-time PCR was used to validate the microarray data. Out of the 22,523 RefSeq gene probes present in the array, 7,665 genes were expressed by the FLSs. The expression of 66 genes was significantly different between the DA and DA.F344(Cia5d) FLSs (P < 0.01). Nineteen of the 66 differentially expressed genes (28.7%) are involved in the regulation of cell cycle progression or cancer-associated phenotypes, such as invasion and contact inhibition. These included Cxcl10, Vil2 and Nras, three genes that are upregulated in DA and known to regulate MMP-2 expression and activation. Nine of the 66 genes (13.6%) are involved in the regulation of estrogen receptor signaling or transcription. Five candidate genes located within the Cia5d interval were also differentially expressed. We have identified a novel FLS invasion associated gene expression signature that is regulated by Cia5d. Many of the genes found to be differentially expressed were previously implicated in cancer cell phenotypes, including invasion. This suggests a parallel in the behavior of arthritis FLSs and cancer cells, and identifies novel pathways and genes for therapeutic intervention and prognostication.
    Arthritis research & therapy 08/2008; 10(4):R92. DOI:10.1186/ar2476 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The invasive properties of fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) correlate with radiographic and histologic damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and pristane-induced arthritis (PIA). We previously determined that highly invasive FLS obtained from PIA-susceptible DA (blood type D, Agouti) rats have increased expression of genes associated with invasive cancers, including Villin-2/ezrin. Villin-2/ezrin mediates invasion via mTOR. In the present study we used the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin to assess the role of the ezrin-mTOR pathway on the invasive properties of FLS. FLS were isolated from synovial tissues from arthritic DA rats, and from RA patients. FLS were treated with rapamycin or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) for 24 h and then studied in a Matrigel-invasion assay. Supernatants were assayed for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, and cell lysates were used for quantification of mTOR, p70S6K1, 4EBP1 and FAK, as well as their respective phosphorylated subsets. Actin filament and FAK localization were determined by immunofluorescence. Rapamycin decreased FLS invasion in DA and RA tissues by 93% and 82%, respectively. Rapamycin treatment reduced the phosphorylation of mTOR and its substrates, p70S6K1 and 4EBP1, confirming mTOR inhibition. In conclusion, rapamycin prevented actin reorganization in both DA and RA FLS, and inhibited the directional formation of lamellipodia. Phosphorylation of the lamellipodia marker FAK was also reduced by rapamycin. MMPs were not significantly affected by rapamycin. Rapamycin significantly reduced RA and DA rat FLS invasion via the suppression of the mTOR signaling pathway. This discovery suggests that rapamycin could have a role in RA therapy aimed at reducing the articular damage and erosive changes mediated by FLS.
    Molecular Medicine 11/2009; 16(9-10):352-8. DOI:10.2119/molmed.2010.00049 · 4.51 Impact Factor
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