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Open Access Research article

Tumor necrosis factor α-induced adipose-related protein expression in experimental arthritis and in rheumatoid arthritis

Asuka Inoue1, Isao Matsumoto12*, Yoko Tanaka1, Keiichi Iwanami1, Akihiro Kanamori3, Naoyuki Ochiai3, Daisuke Goto1, Satoshi Ito1 and Takayuki Sumida1

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Clinical Immunology, Advanced Biomedical Applications, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba 305-8575, Japan

2 PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, 4-1-8 Honcho Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan

3 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Advanced Biomedical Applications, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba 305-8575, Japan

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:R118  doi:10.1186/ar2779

Published: 6 August 2009

Abstract

Introduction

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) plays a pivotal role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA); however, the mechanism of action of TNFα antagonists in RA is poorly defined. Immunization of DBA/1 mice with glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI) induces severe acute arthritis. This arthritis can be controlled by TNFα antagonists, suggesting similar etiology to RA. In this study, we explored TNFα-related mechanisms of arthritis.

Methods

First, we performed GeneChip analysis using splenocytes of mice with GPI-induced arthritis. Expression of TNFα-induced adipose-related protein (TIARP) mRNA and protein in spleens, joints and lymph nodes was evaluated, and fluctuation of TIARP mRNA was analyzed after administration of anti-TNFα monoclonal antibody (mAb). Localization of TIARP in spleen and joints was also explored. Six-transmembrane epithelial antigen of the prostate (STEAP) families of proteins, the human ortholog of TIARP gene, were also evaluated in human peripheral blood mononucleocytes and synovium.

Results

Among the arrayed TNFα-related genes, the expression of TIARP mRNA was the highest (more than 20 times the control). TIARP mRNA was detected specifically in joints and spleens of arthritic mice, and their levels in the synovia correlated with severity of joint swelling. Treatment with anti-TNF mAb significantly reduced TIARP mRNA expression in splenocytes. Among the splenocytes, CD11b+ cells were the main source of TIARP mRNA. Immunohistochemistry showed that TIARP protein was mainly localized in hyperplastic synovium. Among the STEAP family of proteins, STEAP4 was highly upregulated in joints of patients with RA and especially co-localized with CD68+ macrophages.

Conclusions

The results shed light on the new mechanism of action of TNFα antagonists in autoimmune arthritis, suggesting that TIARP plays an important role in inflammatory arthritis, through the regulation of inflammatory cytokines.