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05-04-2018 | Osteoarthritis | Article

CCL17 blockade as a therapy for osteoarthritis pain and disease

Arthritis Research & Therapy

Authors: Ming-Chin Lee, Reem Saleh, Adrian Achuthan, Andrew J. Fleetwood, Irmgard Förster, John A. Hamilton, Andrew D. Cook

Publisher: BioMed Central


Granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of inflammatory diseases and in osteoarthritis (OA). We identified previously a new GM-CSF→Jmjd3→interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4)→chemokine (c-c motif) ligand 17 (CCL17) pathway, which is important for the development of inflammatory arthritis pain and disease. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) can also be linked with this pathway. Here we investigated the involvement of the pathway in OA pain and disease development using the GM-CSF-dependent collagenase-induced OA (CiOA) model.
CiOA was induced in C57BL/6 wild-type (WT), Irf4−/−, Ccl17E/E, Ccr4−/−, Tnf−/− and GM-CSF−/− mice. Additionally, therapeutic targeting of CCL17, Jmjd3 and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) was evaluated. Development of pain (assessment of weight distribution) and OA disease (histologic scoring of synovitis, cartilage destruction and osteophyte size) were assessed. Synovial joint cells, including neutrophils, macrophages, fibroblasts and endothelial cells, were isolated (cell sorting) and gene expression analyzed (quantitative PCR).
Studies in the gene-deficient mice indicated that IRF4, CCL17 and the CCL17 receptor, CCR4, but not TNF, were required for CiOA pain and optimal cartilage destruction and osteophyte size. Therapeutic neutralization of CCL17 and Jmjd3 ameliorated both pain and disease, whereas the COX-2 inhibitor only ameliorated pain. In the synovium Ccl17 mRNA was expressed only in the macrophages in a GM-CSF-dependent and IRF4-dependent manner.
The GM-CSF→Jmjd3→IRF4→CCL17 pathway is important for the development of CiOA, with CCL17 thus being a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of both OA pain and disease.

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