Complementary action of granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-17A induces interleukin-23, receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand, and matrix metalloproteinases and drives bone and cartilage pathology in experimental arthritis: rationale for combination therapy in rheumatoid arthritis
Number of pages
SourceArthritis Research & Therapy, 17, (2015), article 163
Article / Letter to editor
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Arthritis Research & Therapy
SubjectRadboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
INTRODUCTION: Type 17 T helper cells and interleukin (IL)-17 play important roles in the pathogenesis of human and murine arthritis. Although there is a clear link between IL-17 and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in the inflammatory cascade, details about their interaction in arthritic synovial joints are unclear. In view of the introduction of GM-CSF and IL-17 inhibitors to the clinic, we studied how IL-17 and GM-CSF orchestrate the local production of inflammatory mediators during experimental arthritis. METHODS: To allow detection of additive, complementary or synergistic effects of IL-17 and GM-CSF, we used two opposing experimental approaches: treatment of arthritic mice with neutralising antibodies to IL-17 and GM-CSF and local overexpression of these cytokines in naive synovial joints. Mice were treated for 2 weeks with antibodies against IL-17 and/or GM-CSF after onset of collagen-induced arthritis. Naive mice were injected intraarticularly with adenoviral vectors for IL-17 and/or GM-CSF, resulting in local overexpression. Joint inflammation was monitored by macroscopic scoring, X-rays and histology. Joint washouts, synovial cell and lymph node cultures were analysed for cytokines, chemokines and inflammatory mediators by Luminex analysis, flow cytometry and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: Combined therapeutic anti-IL-17 and anti-GM-CSF ameliorated arthritis progression, and joint damage was dramatically reduced compared with treatment with anti-IL-17 or anti-GM-CSF alone. Anti-IL-17 specifically reduced synovial IL-23 transcription, whereas anti-GM-CSF reduced transcription of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappaB ligand (RANKL). Overexpression of IL-17 or GM-CSF in naive knee joints elicited extensive inflammatory infiltrate, cartilage damage and bone destruction. Combined overexpression revealed additive and synergistic effects on the production of MMPs, RANKL and IL-23 in the synovium and led to complete destruction of the joint structure within 7 days. CONCLUSIONS: IL-17 and GM-CSF differentially mediate the inflammatory process in arthritic joints and show complementary and local additive effects. Combined blockade in arthritic mice reduced joint damage not only by direct inhibition of IL-17 and GM-CSF but also by indirect inhibition of IL-23 and RANKL. Our results provide a rationale for combination therapy in autoinflammatory conditions, especially for patients who do not fully respond to inhibition of the separate cytokines.
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