Supplement of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), the direct precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) has gained prominence due to the significant anti-aging potentials of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferas (NAMPT)/NAD signaling. Because over-expression of NAMPT is deeply implicated in inflammatory arthritis, we investigated the effects of NMN supplement on rats with adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA). Tested rats were given oral treatment of NMN at 200 mg/kg/day for 25 days. Arthritis score and body weight were periodically recorded. Clinical outcomes were evaluated based on arthritic manifestations, ELISA analysis and histological examination. T cells subsets were analyzed by flow cytometry. Expressions of protein and mRNA were assessed by immunoblotting and PCR methods, respectively. Levels of CD172a, CD43, and NAMPT in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were investigated by immunofluorescence approach. Obtained results were further validated by experiments in vitro. Generally, NMN exacerbated AIA severity in rats. It deteriorated MMP3-controlled tissues damages, and altered immune profile by increasing Th17/Treg cells ratio. The up-regulation of NAMPT in PBMCs from NMN-treated rats was confirmed by both immunofluorescence and PCR experiments, which was synchronized with significant increase in iNOS, MCP-1, IL-1β expression. NMN-primed AIA PBMCs were potent in up-regulating MCP-1, IL-1β, MMP3 and p-JNK expression in synovioblast. NMN stimulus barely affected Th17 cells count in in vitro cultured splenocytes, but it greatly potentiated the capability of AIA monocytes in inducing IL-17α secretion and Th17 cells differentiation in the co-cultured splenocytes. It suggested that long-term NMN supplement could exacerbate inflammatory arthritis by reshaping the immune milieu through the up-regulation of NAMPT.
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