[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
The inflammatory reflex is a physiological mechanism through which the nervous system maintains immunologic homeostasis by modulating innate and adaptive immunity. We postulated that the reflex might be harnessed therapeutically to reduce pathological levels of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis by activating its prototypical efferent arm, termed the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. To explore this, we determined whether electrical neurostimulation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway reduced disease severity in the collagen-induced arthritis model.
Rats implanted with vagus nerve cuff electrodes had collagen-induced arthritis induced and were followed for 15 days. Animals underwent active or sham electrical stimulation once daily from day 9 through the conclusion of the study. Joint swelling, histology, and levels of cytokines and bone metabolism mediators were assessed.
Compared with sham treatment, active neurostimulation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway resulted in a 52% reduction in ankle diameter (p = 0.02), a 57% reduction in ankle diameter (area under curve; p = 0.02) and 46% reduction overall histological arthritis score (p = 0.01) with significant improvements in inflammation, pannus formation, cartilage destruction, and bone erosion (p = 0.02), accompanied by numerical reductions in systemic cytokine levels, not reaching statistical significance. Bone erosion improvement was associated with a decrease in serum levels of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) from 132±13 to 6±2 pg/mL (mean±SEM, p = 0.01).
The severity of collagen-induced arthritis is reduced by neurostimulation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway delivered using an implanted electrical vagus nerve stimulation cuff electrode, and supports the rationale for testing this approach in human inflammatory disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the development of disease-modifying osteoarthritis (OA) drugs, rat models of OA are frequently used for a first assessment of in vivo efficacy. The most efficacious compound in the rat model may then be tested in a larger animal model before entering human trials. The aim of this study was to describe a histologic scoring system for use in different models of OA in rats that allows standardization and comparison of results obtained by different investigators.
The experience of the authors with current scoring systems and the range of lesions observed in rat and human OA studies were considered in recommending this common paradigm for rat histologic scoring. Considerations were made for reproducibility and ease of use for new scorers. Additional scoring paradigms may be employed to further identify specific effects of some disease-modifying drugs.
Although the described scoring system is more complex than the modified Mankin scores, which are recommended for some other species, the reliability study showed that it is easily understood and can be reproducibly used, even by inexperienced scorers.
The scoring paradigm described here has been found to be sufficiently sensitive to discriminate between treatments and to have high reproducibility. Therefore we recommend its use for evaluation of different rat OA models as well as assessment of disease-modifying effects of treatments in these models.
Preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To demonstrate that the novel highly selective matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP-13) inhibitor PF152 reduces joint lesions in adult dogs with osteoarthritis (OA) and decreases biomarkers of cartilage degradation.
The potency and selectivity of PF152 were evaluated in vitro using 16 MMPs, TACE, and ADAMTS-4 and ADAMTS-5, as well as ex vivo in human cartilage explants. In vivo effects were evaluated at 3 concentrations in mature beagles with partial medial meniscectomy. Gross and histologic changes in the femorotibial joints were evaluated using various measures of cartilage degeneration. Biomarkers of cartilage turnover were examined in serum, urine, or synovial fluid. Results were analyzed individually and in combination using multivariate analysis.
The potent and selective MMP-13 inhibitor PF152 decreased human cartilage degradation ex vivo in a dose-dependent manner. PF152 treatment of dogs with OA reduced cartilage lesions and decreased biomarkers of type II collagen (type II collagen neoepitope) and aggrecan (peptides ending in ARGN or AGEG) degradation. The dose required for significant inhibition varied with the measure used, but multivariate analysis of 6 gross and histologic measures indicated that all doses differed significantly from vehicle but not from each other. Combined analysis of cartilage degradation markers showed similar results.
This highly selective MMP-13 inhibitor exhibits chondroprotective effects in mature animals. Biomarkers of cartilage degradation, when evaluated in combination, parallel the joint structural changes induced by the MMP-13 inhibitor. These data support the potential therapeutic value of selective MMP-13 inhibitors and the use of a set of appropriate biomarkers to predict efficacy in OA clinical trials.
Preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Arthritis & Rheumatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review focuses on the criteria for assessing osteoarthritis (OA) in the guinea pig at the macroscopic and microscopic levels, and recommends particular assessment criteria to assist standardization in the conduct and reporting of preclinical trails in guinea pig models of OA.
A review was conducted of all OA studies from 1958 until the present that utilized the guinea pig. The PubMed database was originally searched August 1, 2006 using the following search terms: guinea pig and OA. We continued to check the database periodically throughout the process of preparing this chapter and the final search was conducted January 7, 2009. Additional studies were found in a review of abstracts from the OsteoArthritis Research Society International (OARSI) conferences, Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) conferences, and literature related to histology in other preclinical models of OA reviewed for relevant references. Studies that described or used systems for guinea pig joint scoring on a macroscopic, microscopic, or ultrastructural basis were included in the final comprehensive summary and review. General recommendations regarding methods of OA assessment in the guinea pig were derived on the basis of a comparison across studies and an inter-rater reliability assessment of the recommended scoring system.
A histochemical-histological scoring system (based on one first introduced by H. Mankin) is recommended for semi-quantitative histological assessment of OA in the guinea pig, due to its already widespread adoption, ease of use, similarity to scoring systems used for OA in humans, its achievable high inter-rater reliability, and its demonstrated correlation with synovial fluid biomarker concentrations. Specific recommendations are also provided for histological scoring of synovitis and scoring of macroscopic lesions of OA.
As summarized herein, a wealth of tools exist to aid both in the semi-quantitative and quantitative assessment of OA in the guinea pig and provide a means of comprehensively characterizing the whole joint organ. In an ongoing effort at standardization, we recommend specific criteria for assessing the guinea pig model of OA as part of an OARSI initiative, termed herein the OARSI-HISTOgp recommendations.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have long been considered excellent targets for osteoarthritis (OA) treatment. However, clinical utility of broad-spectrum MMP inhibitors developed for this purpose has been restricted by dose-limiting musculoskeletal side effects observed in humans. This study was undertaken to identify a new class of potent and selective MMP-13 inhibitors that would provide histologic and clinical efficacy without musculoskeletal toxicity.Methods
Selectivity assays were developed using catalytic domains of human MMPs. Freshly isolated bovine articular cartilage or human OA cartilage was used in in vitro cartilage degradation assays. The rat model of monoiodoacetate (MIA)–induced OA was implemented for assessing the effects of MMP-13 inhibitors on cartilage degradation and joint pain. The surgical medial meniscus tear model in rats was used to evaluate the chondroprotective ability of MMP-13 inhibitors in a chronic disease model of OA. The rat model of musculoskeletal side effects (MSS) was used to assess whether selective MMP-13 inhibitors have the joint toxicity associated with broad-spectrum MMP inhibitors.ResultsA number of non–hydroxamic acid–containing compounds that showed a high degree of potency for MMP-13 and selectivity against other MMPs were designed and synthesized. Steady-state kinetics experiments and Lineweaver-Burk plot analysis of rate versus substrate concentration with one such compound, ALS 1-0635, indicated linear, noncompetitive inhibition, and Dixon plot analysis from competition studies with a zinc chelator (acetoxyhydroxamic acid) and ALS 1-0635 demonstrated nonexclusive binding. ALS 1-0635 inhibited bovine articular cartilage degradation in a dose-dependent manner (48.7% and 87.1% at 500 nM and 5,000 nM, respectively) and was effective in inhibiting interleukin-1– and oncostatin M–induced C1,C2 release in human OA cartilage cultures. ALS 1-0635 modulated cartilage damage in the rat MIA model (mean ± SEM damage score 1.3 ± 0.3, versus 2.2 ± 0.4 in vehicle-treated animals). Most significantly, when treated twice daily with oral ALS 1-0635, rats with surgically induced medial meniscus tear exhibited histologic evidence of chondroprotection and reduced cartilage degeneration, without observable musculoskeletal toxicity.Conclusion
The compounds investigated in this study represent a novel class of MMP-13 inhibitors. They are mechanistically distinct from previously reported broad-spectrum MMP inhibitors and do not exhibit the problems previously associated with these inhibitors, including selectivity, poor pharmacokinetics, and MSS liability. MMP-13 inhibitors exert chondroprotective effects and can potentially modulate joint pain, and are, therefore, uniquely suited as potential disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2009 · Arthritis & Rheumatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cathepsin K (cat K), a cysteine protease expressed in osteoclasts, chondrocytes and synovial fibroblasts, degrades several bone and cartilage matrix components suggesting its potential role in osteoarthritis (OA). We investigated the effects of SB-553484, an inhibitor of cat K, on lesion severity and biomarkers of collagen degradation in the canine partial medial meniscectomy model.
A partial medial meniscectomy was performed in mature female beagle dogs. Animals were dosed orally with vehicle or SB-553484 at 50mg/kg BID for 28 days. The femorotibial joints were evaluated for gross and microscopic histological changes. Biomarkers of collagen degradation were also analyzed.
In dogs treated with SB-553484, subjective gross and calculated degeneration scores decreased significantly by 29% and 46%, respectively. Histopathologic evaluation demonstrated that the summed tibial degeneration score decreased significantly by 21%. Inhibition of tibial cartilage degeneration was significant in zone 1 (32%) and the depth ratio of any tibial matrix change was decreased significantly by 28%. Urinary biomarkers of bone and cartilage degradation were also significantly reduced.
Treatment with SB-553484 resulted in mild to moderate beneficial effects on gross and histopathological parameters. Reduction of biomarkers of collagen type I and II degradation indicated a direct effect of the compound on bone and cartilage. These data suggest that the prevention of cartilage degradation by cat K inhibition may represent a valid strategy for pharmacological intervention in OA and that monitoring collagen degradation biomarkers may provide an indication of the protective effects of inhibition of bone and cartilage degradation.
Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lubricin, also referred to as superficial zone protein and PRG4, is a synovial glycoprotein that supplies a friction-resistant, antiadhesive coating to the surfaces of articular cartilage, thereby protecting against arthritis-associated tissue wear and degradation. This study was undertaken to generate and characterize a novel recombinant lubricin protein construct, LUB:1, and to evaluate its therapeutic efficacy following intraarticular delivery in a rat model of osteoarthritis (OA).
Binding and localization of LUB:1 to cartilage surfaces was assessed by immunohistochemistry. The cartilage-lubricating properties of LUB:1 were determined using a custom friction testing apparatus. A cell-binding assay was performed to quantify the ability of LUB:1 to prevent cell adhesion. Efficacy studies were conducted in a rat meniscal tear model of OA. One week after the surgical induction of OA, LUB:1 or phosphate buffered saline vehicle was administered by intraarticular injection for 4 weeks, with dosing intervals of either once per week or 3 times per week. OA pathology scores were determined by histologic analysis.
LUB:1 was shown to bind effectively to cartilage surfaces, and facilitated both cartilage boundary lubrication and inhibition of synovial cell adhesion. Treatment of rat knee joints with LUB:1 resulted in significant disease-modifying, chondroprotective effects during the progression of OA, by markedly reducing cartilage degeneration and structural damage.
Our findings demonstrate the potential use of recombinant lubricin molecules in novel biotherapeutic approaches to the treatment of OA and associated cartilage abnormalities.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Arthritis & Rheumatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Murine gammadelta T cell subsets, defined by their Vgamma chain usage, have been shown in various disease models to have distinct functional roles. In this study, we examined the responses of the two main peripheral gammadelta T cell subsets, Vgamma1(+) and Vgamma4(+) cells, during collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), a mouse model that shares many hallmarks with human rheumatoid arthritis. We found that whereas both subsets increased in number, only the Vgamma4(+) cells became activated. Surprisingly, these Vgamma4(+) cells appeared to be Ag selected, based on preferential Vgamma4/Vdelta4 pairing and very limited TCR junctions. Furthermore, in both the draining lymph node and the joints, the vast majority of the Vgamma4/Vdelta4(+) cells produced IL-17, a cytokine that appears to be key in the development of CIA. In fact, the number of IL-17-producing Vgamma4(+) gammadelta T cells in the draining lymph nodes was found to be equivalent to the number of CD4(+)alphabeta(+) Th-17 cells. When mice were depleted of Vgamma4(+) cells, clinical disease scores were significantly reduced and the incidence of disease was lowered. A decrease in total IgG and IgG2a anti-collagen Abs was also seen. These results suggest that Vgamma4/Vdelta4(+) gammadelta T cells exacerbate CIA through their production of IL-17.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2007 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Murine T cell subsets, defined by their V chain usage, have been shown in various disease models to have distinct functional roles. In this study, we examined the responses of the two main peripheral T cell subsets, V1 and V4 cells, during collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), a mouse model that shares many hallmarks with human rheumatoid arthritis. We found that whereas both subsets increased in number, only the V4 cells became activated. Surprisingly, these V4 cells appeared to be Ag selected, based on preferential V4/V4 pairing and very limited TCR junctions. Furthermore, in both the draining lymph node and the joints, the vast majority of the V4/V4 cells produced IL-17, a cytokine that appears to be key in the development of CIA. In fact, the number of IL-17-producing V4 T cells in the draining lymph nodes was found to be equivalent to the number of CD4 Th-17 cells. When mice were depleted of V4 cells, clinical disease scores were significantly reduced and the incidence of disease was lowered. A decrease in total IgG and IgG2a anti-collagen Abs was also seen. These results suggest that V4/V4 T cells exacerbate CIA through their production of IL-17. The Journal of Immunology, 2007, 179: 5576 -5583.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2007 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The roles of the transmembrane and secreted forms of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remain unclear. Agents used to inhibit TNFalpha have shown varying efficacy in RA patients, suggesting that anti-TNFalpha agents possess dissimilar mechanisms of action, including the ability to neutralize transmembrane (tmTNFalpha) and secreted TNFalpha. In this study, TNFalpha-knockout (TNFalpha-KO) mice that were genetically altered to express elevated levels of tmTNFalpha were constructed to further understand the roles of the 17-kd secreted, trimeric, and 26-kd transmembrane forms of TNFalpha.
A speed-congenic mating scheme was used to generate 3 unique strains of mice: 1) transgenic tmTgA86 mice overexpressing 26-kd tmTNFalpha and also secreting 17-kd trimeric TNFalpha (tmTNFalpha-transgenic), 2) TNFalpha-/- mice (TNFalpha-KO), and 3) transgenic mice overexpressing tmTNFalpha backcrossed to TNFalpha-KO mice (tmTNFalpha-transgenic/TNFalpha-KO). Mice were treated with phosphate buffered saline (as vehicle control), dexamethasone (as positive control), or modified recombinant human soluble TNF receptor (sTNFR) p55 or p75, and were assessed clinically and histopathologically for signs of inflammation and development of arthritis.
The tmTNFalpha-transgenic/TNFalpha-KO mice were born with crinkled tails and spinal deformities similar to those in ankylosing spondylitis. By 2-4 weeks, these mice developed symmetric inflammatory arthritis, characterized by tissue swelling, pannus formation, and bone deformities. The tmTNFalpha-transgenic mice also developed spontaneous-onset arthritis, but at a slower rate (100% incidence by 10-12 weeks). Clinical and histologic progression of arthritis in the tmTNFalpha-transgenic/TNFalpha-KO mice was reduced by treatment with dexamethasone or with the p55 or p75 sTNFR (69% and 63% reduction in total histologic score, respectively).
These data show that arthritis is sufficiently initiated and maintained in tmTNFalpha-transgenic/TNFalpha-KO mice, and that it can be neutralized by recombinant human p55 or p75 sTNFR, resulting in amelioration of the biologic and subsequent histologic destructive effects of tmTNFalpha.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine whether fusion proteins comprising human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) joined to human immunoglobulin G1 and G4 (IgG1 and IgG4) Fc and C(H) domains are biologically active and have improved pharmacokinetic and hematopoietic properties in vivo.
Chimeric genes encoding human G-CSF fused to the N-termini of the Fc and C(H) domains of human IgG1 and IgG4 were constructed and used to transfect monkey COS cells. The fusion proteins were purified from the conditioned media by protein A affinity chromatography. Bioactivities of the proteins were measured in a G-CSF-dependent in vitro bioassay. Pharmacokinetic and granulopoietic properties of the G-CSF/IgG1-Fc fusion protein were measured in normal rats.
The G-CSF/IgG-Fc and G-CSF/IgG-C(H) fusion proteins were secreted from transfected COS cells primarily as disulfide-linked homodimers. On a molar basis, the purified G-CSF/IgG-Fc fusion proteins were as active as G-CSF in in vitro bioassays, whereas bioactivities of the purified G-CSF/IgG-C(H) fusion proteins were decreased 3- to 4-fold. The G-CSF/IgG1-Fc fusion protein displayed a slower plasma clearance rate and stimulated greater and longer lasting increases in circulating neutrophils and white blood cells than G-CSF following intravenous and subcutaneous administration to rats.
Fusion of G-CSF to human IgG domains results in homodimeric fusion proteins possessing high in vitro bioactivities, long circulating half-lives, and enhanced hematopoietic properties in vivo.
Preview · Article · Jun 2004 · Experimental Hematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recombinant C-terminal truncated form of the human soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor type I (sTNF-RI) was produced in E. coli. This soluble receptor contains the first 2.6 of the 4 domains of the intact sTNF-RI molecule. A monoPEGylated form of this molecule was produced using a 30 kD methoxyPEG aldehyde with approximately 85% selectivity for the N-terminal amino group. This molecule was shown to be less immunogenic in primates than the full length (4.0 domain) molecule or other versions of sTNF-RI which were either PEGylated at different sites or with different molecular weight PEGs. The 30 kD PEG also has a longer serum half-life to the molecule than lower molecular weight PEGs. This molecule markedly blunts the inflammatory response in a number of rheumatoid arthritis animal models. In addition, phase I/II and early phase II data in humans indicate that PEG sTNF-RI is non-immunogenic and that weekly dosing with this drug can reduce the number of tender and swollen joints in rheumatoid arthritis patients. PEG sTNF-RI has comparable American College of Rheumatology (ACR) efficacy scores as other anti-TNF molecules currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritic patients.
No preview · Article · Oct 2003 · Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews