[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin-21 (IL-21) is a T cell-derived cytokine that modulates T cell, B cell, and natural killer cell responses. In this study, the effects of blocking IL-21 were examined in 2 rodent models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to determine whether IL-21 contributes to their pathologic processes.
DBA/1 mice were immunized with bovine type II collagen and then treated with murine IL-21 receptor Fc fusion protein (IL-21R.Fc), which was initiated after the onset of arthritis symptoms in 10% of the cohort. The mice were assessed 3 times per week for signs of disease, including histologic features as well as serum cytokine, Ig, and cytokine messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in the paws. In a separate experiment, Lewis rats were immunized with Freund's complete adjuvant followed by administration of IL-21R.Fc at the peak of inflammation in the joints. Rats were assessed daily for histologic features and for scoring of arthritis severity. In addition, the effects of IL-21R.Fc on the production of interferon-gamma (IFNgamma) by T cells were examined.
Treatment of DBA/1 mice with IL-21R.Fc reduced the clinical and histologic signs of collagen-induced arthritis. Nonspecific IgG1 levels were decreased in response to treatment. The levels of IL-6 mRNA in the paws and the serum IL-6 levels were decreased after treatment with IL-21R.Fc. IFNgamma mRNA levels were increased in the paws, and the addition of IL-21R.Fc to collagen-activated lymph node cultures enhanced the levels of IFNgamma. Collagen-specific spleen cell responses in IL-21R.Fc-treated mice were observed as reduced levels of IFNgamma and increased levels of IL-6. Treatment of Lewis rats with IL-21R.Fc after induction of adjuvant-induced arthritis resulted in reversal of disease signs and improvements in histologic parameters.
These findings demonstrate a pathogenic role for IL-21 in animal models of RA, and support consideration of IL-21 as a therapeutic target in human RA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammation is now recognized as a key component in a number of diseases such as atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. The transcription factor NF-kappaB has been shown to be involved in both the early and late stages of the inflammatory-proliferative process. In this report, we describe the identification of the pathway-selective estrogen receptor (ER) ligand, WAY-169916, that inhibits NF-kappaB transcriptional activity but is devoid of conventional estrogenic activity. This pathway-selective ligand does not promote the classic actions of estrogens such as stimulation of uterine proliferation or ER-mediated gene expression, but is a potent antiinflammatory agent, as demonstrated in the HLA-B27 transgenic rat model of inflammatory bowel disease. Our results indicate the potential utility of pathway-selective ER ligands such as WAY-169916 in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2005; 102(7):2543-8. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0405841102 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27) transgenic rat is a model of human inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Studies of chronic inflammation in other rat models have demonstrated activation of the kallikrein-kinin system as well as modulation by a plasma kallikrein inhibitor initiated before the onset of clinicopathologic changes or a deficiency in high-molecular-mass kininogen. Here we study the effects of monoclonal antibody C11C1, an antibody against high-molecular-mass kininogen that inhibits the binding of high-molecular-mass kininogen to leukocytes and endothelial cells in the HLA-B27 rat, which was administered after the onset of the inflammatory changes. Thrice-weekly intraperitoneal injections of monoclonal antibody C11C1 or isotype IgG1 were given to male 23-week-old rats for 16 days. Stool character as a measure of intestinal inflammation, and the rear limbs for clinical signs of arthritis (tarsal joint swelling and erythema) were scored daily. The animals were killed and the histology sections were assigned a numerical score for colonic inflammation, synovitis, and cartilage damage. Administration of monoclonal C11C1 rapidly decreased the clinical scores of pre-existing inflammatory bowel disease (P < 0.005) and arthritis (P < 0.001). Histological analyses confirmed significant reductions in colonic lesions (P = 0.004) and synovitis (P = 0.009). Decreased concentrations of plasma prekallikrein and high-molecular-mass kininogen were found, providing evidence of activation of the kallikrein-kinin system. The levels of these biomarkers were reversed by monoclonal antibody C11C1, which may have therapeutic potential in human inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that produces synovial proliferation and joint erosions. The pathologic lesions of RA are driven through the production of inflammatory mediators in the synovium mediated, in part, by the transcription factor NF-kappaB. We have identified a non-steroidal estrogen receptor ligand, WAY-169916, that selectively inhibits NF-kappaB transcriptional activity but is devoid of conventional estrogenic activity. The activity of WAY-169916 was monitored in two models of arthritis, the HLA-B27 transgenic rat and the Lewis rat adjuvant-induced model, after daily oral administration. In both models, a near complete reversal in hindpaw scores was observed as well as marked improvements in the histological scores. In the Lewis rat adjuvant model, WAY-169916 markedly suppresses the adjuvant induction of three serum acute phase proteins: haptoglobin, alpha1-acid glycoprotein (alpha1-AGP), and C-reactive protein (CRP). Gene expression experiments also demonstrate a global suppression of adjuvant-induced gene expression in the spleen, liver, and popliteal lymph nodes. Finally, WAY-169916 was effective in suppressing tumor necrosis factor-alpha-mediated inflammatory gene expression in fibroblast-like synoviocytes isolated from patients with RA. Together, these data suggest the utility of WAY-169916, and other compounds in its class, in treating RA through global suppression of inflammation via selective blockade of NF-kappaB transcriptional activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A well-established model of bowel inflammation is the HLA-B27 transgenic rat that exhibits a spontaneous disease phenotype resulting in chronic diarrhea caused by immune cell activation. Estrogens have previously been shown to modulate the immune system, and both estrogen receptors (ERalpha and ERbeta) are present in the intestine and cells of the immune system. Therefore, the ability of estrogen to ameliorate disease progression in the HLA-B27 transgenic rat was determined. HLA-B27 transgenic rats with chronic diarrhea were treated with 17alpha-ethynyl-17beta-estradiol (EE) for 5 days. EE treatment dramatically improved stool scores after only 3 days. Histological scores of the degree of ulceration, inflammatory cell infiltration, fibrosis, and lesion depth of the colon were also improved by EE treatment. Because neutrophil infiltration into the colon is involved in the development and propagation of disease, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity was measured. MPO levels were reduced by 80% by EE treatment. Cotreatment with the pure ER antagonist ICI-182780 (ICI) blocked the effects of EE on stool character, MPO activity, and histology scores, strongly suggesting that the activity of EE is mediated through ER. Mast cell proteases can promote neutrophil infiltration, and gene expression analysis demonstrated that mast cell protease 1, 3, and 4 mRNA were all decreased in colons from estrogen-treated rats. In addition, a direct effect of estrogen on bone marrow-derived mast cell activity was demonstrated, suggesting that ER-mediated inactivation of mast cells may contribute to the improvement in the clinical sign and histological scores in this model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The discovery of a second estrogen receptor (ER), called ERbeta, in 1996 sparked intense interest within the scientific community to discover its role in mediating estrogen action. However, despite more than 6 yr of research into the function of this receptor, its physiological role in mediating estrogen action remains unclear and controversial. We have developed a series of highly selective agonists for ERbeta and have characterized their activity in several clinically relevant rodent models of human disease. The activity of one such compound, ERB-041, is reported here. We conclude from these studies that ERbeta does not mediate the bone-sparing activity of estrogen on the rat skeleton and that it does not affect ovulation or ovariectomy-induced weight gain. In addition, these compounds are nonuterotrophic and nonmammotrophic. However, ERB-041 has a dramatic beneficial effect in the HLA-B27 transgenic rat model of inflammatory bowel disease and the Lewis rat adjuvant-induced arthritis model. Daily oral doses as low as 1 mg/kg reverse the chronic diarrhea of HLA-B27 transgenic rats and dramatically improve histological disease scores in the colon. The same dosing regimen in the therapeutic adjuvant-induced arthritis model reduces joint scores from 12 (maximal inflammation) to 1 over a period of 10 d. Synovitis and Mankin (articular cartilage) histological scores are also significantly lowered (50-75%). These data suggest that one function of ERbeta may be to modulate the immune response, and that ERbeta-selective ligands may be therapeutically useful agents to treat chronic intestinal and joint inflammation.