Rheumatology International

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 97–104 | Cite as

Nicotine inhibits tumor necrosis factor-α induced IL-6 and IL-8 secretion in fibroblast-like synoviocytes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis

  • Yaou Zhou
  • Xiaoxia ZuoEmail author
  • Yisha Li
  • Yanping Wang
  • Hongjun Zhao
  • Xianzhong Xiao
Original Article


It was recently demonstrated that the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway can modulate host inflammatory responses via cholinergic mediators or via electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve. Here, we investigated whether nicotine, a selective cholinergic agonist, plays any anti-inflammatory role in rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS). We observed that low concentrations (0.1–100 μM) of nicotine did not affect FLS viability in lactate dehydrogenase release test or the MTT assay. Nicotine at concentrations of 0.1–10 μM dose reduced the protein and mRNA expression of IL-6 and IL-8 induced by tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα). Nicotine also inhibited nuclear factor (NF)-κB (p65) translocation from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, based on Western blotting and immunocytochemical analysis. In conclusion, nicotine can inhibit the TNFα dependant inflammatory pathway in synoviocytes by suppressing the activation of the NF-κB pathway.


Rheumatoid arthritis Nicotine Synoviocytes Inflammation Cytokines 



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30671947, 30900588).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaou Zhou
    • 1
  • Xiaoxia Zuo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yisha Li
    • 1
  • Yanping Wang
    • 1
  • Hongjun Zhao
    • 1
  • Xianzhong Xiao
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Department of Pathophysiology, Xiangya School of MedicineCentral South UniversityChangshaChina

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