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Clin Exp Rheumatol ; 2019 Apr 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31074719


OBJECTIVES: Regulatory T (Treg) cells are crucial players in the prevention of autoimmunity. Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling negatively controls the development and function of Treg cells. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of rapamycin, under the generic name sirolimus, on CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Treg cells in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with low disease activity or in DAS28 remission. METHODS: Fifty-five RA patients and 60 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. All patients had previously received conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and were considered to have a low DAS28 score (≤3.2). Peripheral blood samples and clinical information were obtained at baseline and following 6 and 12 weeks of sirolimus treatment, or after 12 weeks of conventional treatment. Peripheral blood samples were also obtained from the healthy controls. The circulating levels of lymphocyte subpopulations were assessed by flow cytometry. RESULTS: Thirty-five patients received sirolimus and 20 patients continued treatment with conventional DMARDs. The absolute counts and proportions of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Treg cells were significantly lower in all RA patients with DAS28 ≤ 3.2 as compared with those in healthy controls. By contrast, the difference in circulating Th17 cell numbers was not significant. Sirolimus administration resulted in elevations in circulating Treg cell numbers and significant reductions in the Th17/Treg cell ratio, whereas the circulating level of Treg cells and the Th17/Treg cell ratio in patients under conventional treatment both showed a tendency of reduction. Furthermore, a greater proportion of patients under sirolimus treatment achieved DAS28-based remission at 12 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Sirolimus can favourably expand Treg cells in RA patients with DAS28 ≤3.2, consequently restoring a healthy balance of Th17/Treg cells, which might improve the likelihood of long-term and sustained clinical remission and reduce the probability of disease flare-ups in RA.

Int Immunopharmacol ; 61: 45-53, 2018 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29803913


Although conventional combination therapy is effective for most patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), many still do not respond to current therapies. Therefore, novel combination regimens that better target cellular processes involved in RA pathogenesis are required. Preliminary studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of a combination of cyclophosphamide (CTX) and methotrexate (MTX) in models of RA. Using western blotting, real-time polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and immunofluorescent staining, we demonstrated that the combination of 4-hydroperoxy CTX (4-H-CTX) and MTX inhibited the expression of receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) treated with the interleukin (IL)-6/soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R) complex. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying this effect, we treated RA-FLS with the JAK2/STAT3 inhibitor AG490 or p38MAPK inhibitor SB203580. The results showed that IL-6/sIL-6R-induced RANKL upregulation required phosphorylation-mediated activation of STAT3 and p38 signaling, and that 4-H-CTX and/or MTX inhibited RANKL expression in IL-6/sIL-6R-stimulated FLS by suppressing JAK2/STAT3 and p38MAPK signaling. This study demonstrated for the first time the inhibitory effects of 4-H-CTX and MTX on RANKL expression in IL-6/sIL-6R-stimulated FLS via suppression of STAT3 and p38MAPK phosphorylation. These results identify promising therapeutic agents that might have clinical applications in patients with RA who are at high risk of bone erosion or do not respond well to conventional therapy.

Artrite Reumatoide/tratamento farmacológico , Ciclofosfamida/análogos & derivados , Fibroblastos/efeitos dos fármacos , Metotrexato/farmacologia , Sinoviócitos/efeitos dos fármacos , Células Cultivadas , Ciclofosfamida/farmacologia , Quimioterapia Combinada , Fibroblastos/fisiologia , Regulação da Expressão Gênica , Humanos , Imidazóis/farmacologia , Interleucina-6/imunologia , Janus Quinase 2/metabolismo , Piridinas/farmacologia , Ligante RANK/genética , Ligante RANK/metabolismo , Receptores de Interleucina-6/imunologia , Fator de Transcrição STAT3/metabolismo , Transdução de Sinais , Sinoviócitos/fisiologia , Tirfostinas/farmacologia , Proteínas Quinases p38 Ativadas por Mitógeno/metabolismo
Int J Clin Exp Pathol ; 8(12): 15573-81, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26884826


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is known to promote the proliferation, migration and survival of synovial cells and plays an important role in the occurrence, development and pathological process of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of the present study was to observe FAK changes in synovial cells of rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and after intervention with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) alone or in combination in a CIA female SD rat model induced by collagen type II. The rats were randomized to 8 groups: normal control group, CIA model control group, methotrexate (MTX, 0.9 mg/kg/w) group, cyclophosphamide (CTX, 24 mg/kg/3 w) group, leflunomide (LEF, 1.2 mg/kg/d) group, MTX + CTX group, LEF + CTX group, and MTX + LEF group. They were intervened with DMARDs alone or in combination for six weeks. The experiment lasted a total of 9 weeks in vivo. Articular inflammation was measured during the process of drug intervention in terms of the degree of swelling degree in the right hind foot using a venire caliper. All animals were sacrificed by breaking the neck after 9 weeks. Then, the ankle was fixed, decalcified, embedded, and HE stained, and prepared into slices to observe pathological changes in the synovial tissue. FAK expression in synovial cells was assayed by immunohistochemistry and the mean optical density (OD) value was measured using the HPIAS-2000 image analysis system. It was found that FAK expression was negative in normal control group, positive in CIA model control group, and decreased in the three DMARD combination treatment groups significantly as compared with that in the three single-drug groups (P < 0.05). FAK expression in LEF + CTX group or MTX + CTX group decreased more significantly than that in MTX + LEF group (P < 0.05), and there was no statistically significant difference between LEF + CTX and MTX + CTX groups. The arthritis index and pathological change in the synovial tissue in LEF + CTX group or MTX + CTX group were improved more significantly than those in MTX + LEF group or single-drug groups. Our results showed that FAK expression was positive in CIA rats, indicating that it played an important role in the pathogenesis of RA, and that intervention with DMARDs could reduce the FAK expression in synovial cells of CIA rats. We hope these findings would contribute to the treatment of RA and other rheumatic diseases by reducing adhesion, proliferation and migration of synovial cells and inhibiting the over-expression of FAK.

Antirreumáticos/farmacologia , Artrite Experimental/tratamento farmacológico , Colágeno Tipo II , Quinase 1 de Adesão Focal/metabolismo , Articulações/efeitos dos fármacos , Membrana Sinovial/efeitos dos fármacos , Animais , Artrite Experimental/induzido quimicamente , Artrite Experimental/enzimologia , Artrite Experimental/patologia , Ciclofosfamida/farmacologia , Quimioterapia Combinada , Feminino , Isoxazóis/farmacologia , Articulações/enzimologia , Articulações/patologia , Leflunomida , Metotrexato/farmacologia , Ratos Sprague-Dawley , Membrana Sinovial/enzimologia , Membrana Sinovial/patologia , Fatores de Tempo