, Volume 32, Issue 9, pp 2605-2614
Date: 21 Jul 2011

Modulation of immune and inflammatory responses on experimental arthritis following intraarticular gene transfer of tumor necrosis factor receptor-immunoglobulin Fc

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In spite of popularity of TNF-α antagonist in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), their modes of action are not fully understood. In the present study, we further explore the effects of gene transfer route of a TNF-α antagonist on arthritis. Recombinant adeno-associated virus 2 (rAAV2) encoding rat TNF receptor-immunoglobulin Fc (ratTNFR:Fc) fusion gene was injected intraarticularly in rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). As revealed by examination of the clinical, radiographical, and histological aspects, local gene transfer of rAAV2/ratTNFR:Fc ameliorated the arthritis symptoms and inhibited the development of CIA. Compared with the vector control group, expressions of TNF-α, IL-1, and IFN-γ were down-regulated, and IL-10 release was up-regulated in the rAAV2/ratTNFR:Fc-treated group. Furthermore, administration of rAAV2/ratTNFR:Fc ameliorated the enlargement of spleen and significantly reduced spleen cell proliferation. Low level of nitric oxide (NO) in spleen was observed in CIA rats following the delivery of rAAV2/ratTNFR:Fc when compared to the vector control group. This study provides the evidence that intraarticular delivery of rAAV2/ratTNFR:Fc suppress the progression of arthritis by restoring the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and inhibiting spleen cell proliferation. Our findings also implicate that the down-regulation of NO release on arthritis is involved in the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of TNF-α antagonist.

The authors X. Zhou and K. Gao are contributed equally to this work.