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Open Access Research article

Anti-inflammatory effect of antidiabetic thiazolidinediones prevents bone resorption rather than cartilage changes in experimental polyarthritis

Meriem Koufany1, David Moulin1, Arnaud Bianchi1, Mikhaela Muresan2, Sylvie Sebillaud1, Patrick Netter1, Georges Weryha2 and Jean-Yves Jouzeau1*

Author affiliations

1 Laboratoire de Physiopathologie et Pharmacologie Articulaires (LPPA), UMR 7561 CNRS-Nancy Université, avenue de la forêt de Haye, BP 184, 54505 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France

2 Centre Hospitalier Régional et Universitaire, Service d'Endocrinologie/Médecine E, rue du Morvan, 54511 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:R6  doi:10.1186/ar2354

Published: 16 January 2008

Abstract

Background

Rosiglitazone and pioglitazone are high-affinity peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ agonists with potent anti-diabetic properties and potential anti-inflammatory effects. We compared the ability of a range of oral doses of these thiazolidinediones, including those sufficient to restore insulin sensitization, to inhibit the pathogenesis of adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA).

Methods

AIA was induced in Lewis rats by a subcutaneous injection of 1 mg of complete Freund's adjuvant. Rats were treated orally for 21 days with pioglitazone 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg/day, rosiglitazone 3 or 10 mg/kg/day, or with vehicle only. The time course of AIA was evaluated by biotelemetry to monitor body temperature and locomotor activity, by clinical score and plethysmographic measurement of hindpaw oedema. At necropsy, RT-PCR analysis was performed on synovium, liver and subcutaneous fat. Changes in cartilage were evaluated by histological examination of ankle joints, radiolabelled sulphate incorporation (proteoglycan synthesis), glycosaminoglycan content (proteoglycan turnover) and aggrecan expression in patellar cartilage. Whole-body bone mineral content was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Results

The highest doses of rosiglitazone (10 mg/kg/day) or pioglitazone (30 mg/kg/day) were required to reduce fever peaks associated with acute or chronic inflammation, respectively, and to decrease arthritis severity. At these doses, thiazolidinediones reduced synovitis and synovial expression of TNF-α, IL-1β and basic fibroblast growth factor without affecting neovascularization or the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor. Thiazolidinediones failed to prevent cartilage lesions and arthritis-induced inhibition of proteoglycan synthesis, aggrecan mRNA level or glycosaminoglycan content in patellar cartilage, but reduced bone erosions and inflammatory bone loss. A trend towards lower urinary levels of deoxipyridinolin was also noted in arthritic rats treated with thiazolidinediones. Rosiglitazone 10 mg/kg/day or pioglitazone 30 mg/kg/day increased the expression of PPAR-γ and adiponectin in adipose tissue, confirming that they were activating PPAR-γ in inflammatory conditions, although an increase in fat mass percentage was observed for the most anti-arthritic dose.

Conclusion

These data emphasize that higher dosages of thiazolidinediones are required for the treatment of arthritis than for restoring insulin sensitivity but that thiazolidinediones prevent inflammatory bone loss despite exposing animals to increased fatness possibly resulting from excessive activation of PPAR-γ.