Arthritis research & therapy 2018 02 0820(1) 25 doi 10.1186/s13075-018-1523-1
Previously we established an arthritis-prone FcγRIIB-deficient mouse strain (designated KO1). Anti-mouse CD11b mAb (5C6) has been reported to inhibit the recruitment of peripheral CD11b+ myelomonocytic cells from the blood to the inflammatory site. These cells include neutrophils and monocytes, both of which play important roles in the development of arthritis. Here we treated KO1 mice with 5C6 mAb in order to study its effect on arthritis development.
To evaluate the disease-preventive effect of 5C6, 4-month-old preclinical KO1 mice were divided into three groups: the first treated with 5C6 for 6 months, the second treated with normal rat IgG for 6 months, as a control, and the third left untreated. Arthritis severity and immunological abnormalities were compared among the groups, along with transcriptional levels of several important arthritis-related factors in ankle joints, spleen, and peripheral blood cells.
The 5C6 treatment ameliorated arthritis in KO1 mice, showing decreases in inflammatory cell infiltration and osteoclast formation. Analysis of transcriptional levels in ankle joints revealed that compared with the two control groups, the 5C6-treated group showed downregulated expression of RANK, RANKL, MCP-1, RANTES, TNFα, and IL-6, and at the same time showed significantly up-regulated expression of the decoy receptor for RANKL, i.e. osteoprotegerin. In addition, the disease suppression was associated with the lower serum levels of autoantibodies, and the decreased frequencies of activated B cells and plasma cells. The expression levels of B cell activation/differentiation-related cytokines were suppressed in spleen and peripheral leukocytes of the 5C6-treated mice. Intriguingly, while untreated KO1 mice spontaneously developed marked monocytosis, the 5C6-treated mice showed the significantly down-regulated frequency of monocytes.
The outcome of 5C6 treatment was complex, in which the 5C6-mediated disease-preventive effect is likely due on one hand to the decrease in the recruitment of inflammatory cells and osteoclast precursor monocytes from the periphery into the joints, and on the other hand to the suppression of B cell activation/maturation and of autoantibody production via the suppression of B cell stimulating cytokine production. The lower levels of these cytokines may be the secondary effect of the lower frequency of monocytes, since monocytes/macrophages are the major producers of these cytokines.