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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Targeting pro-inflammatory cytokines following joint injury: acute intra-articular inhibition of interleukin-1 following knee injury prevents post-traumatic arthritis

Bridgette D Furman, Daniel S Mangiapani, Evan Zeitler, Karsyn N Bailey, Phillip H Horne, Janet L Huebner, Virginia B Kraus, Farshid Guilak and Steven A Olson*

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2014, 16:R134  doi:10.1186/ar4591

Published: 25 June 2014

Abstract (provisional)

Introduction

Post-traumatic arthritis (PTA) is a progressive, degenerative response to joint injury, such as articular fracture. The pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin 1(IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?), are acutely elevated following joint injury and remain elevated for prolonged periods post-injury. To investigate the role of local and systemic inflammation in the development of post-traumatic arthritis, we targeted both the initial acute local inflammatory response and a prolonged 4?week systemic inflammatory response by inhibiting IL-1 or TNF-? following articular fracture in the mouse knee.

Methods

Anti-cytokine agents, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) or soluble TNF receptor II (sTNFRII), were administered either locally via an acute intra-articular injection or systemically for a prolonged 4?week period following articular fracture of the knee in C57BL/6 mice. The severity of arthritis was then assessed at 8?weeks post-injury in joint tissues via histology and micro computed tomography, and systemic and local biomarkers were assessed in serum and synovial fluid.

Results

Intra-articular inhibition of IL-1 significantly reduced cartilage degeneration, synovial inflammation, and did not alter bone morphology following articular fracture. However, systemic inhibition of IL-1, and local or systemic inhibition of TNF provided no benefit or conversely led to increased arthritic changes in the joint tissues.

Conclusion

These results show that intra-articular IL-1, rather than TNF-?, plays a critical role in the acute inflammatory phase of joint injury and can be inhibited locally to reduce post-traumatic arthritis following a closed articular fracture. Targeted local inhibition of IL-1 following joint injury may represent a novel treatment option for PTA.

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