Apoptosis Is a Novel Therapeutic Strategy for RA: Investigations Using an Experimental Arthritis Animal Model
To investigate the time at which apoptotic cells appear during the course of synovitis in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, we conducted a time-course observation of changes of apoptotic cells in collagen-induced arthritis mice as a RA model. No apoptotic cells were detected before the onset of synovitis. The number of such cells increased parallel to the progress of the arthritis in its initial stages, and the number of cells decreased in the proliferative stage of arthritis. These results suggest that apoptotic cells appear to maintain homeostasis when there is synovium proliferation which is undesirable for the morphological maintenance of a joint. If the induction of apoptosis is possible in RA synovitis, this procedure might lead to a cure for RA. Based on this hypothesis, apoptosis therapeutic experiments using the anti-Fas m Ab and Fas-ligand were performed in SCID-HuRAg mice implanted with human RA synovial tissues. It was found, that the synovitis implanted in mice was reduced markedly, suggesting that apoptosis induction therapy may be a novel treatment strategy for RA.
Key wordsRheumatoid arthritis SCID mouse Treatment Apoptosis Collagen-induced arthritis
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