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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

THR0921, a novel peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma agonist, reduces the severity of collagen-induced arthritis

Tetsuya Tomita, Yoshimi Kakiuchi and Philip S Tsao*

Author Affiliations

Falk Cardiovascular Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2006, 8:R7  doi:10.1186/ar1856

Published: 17 November 2005

Abstract

THR0921 is a novel peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonist with potent anti-diabetic properties. Because of the proposed role of PPARγ in inflammation, we investigated the potential of orally active THR0921 to inhibit the pathogenesis of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). CIA was induced in DBA/1J mice by the injection of bovine type II collagen in complete Freund's adjuvant on days 0 and 21. Mice were treated with THR0921 (50 mg/kg/day) starting on the day of the booster injection and throughout the remaining study period. Both clinical disease activity scores as well as histological scores of joint destruction were significantly reduced in mice treated with THR0921 compared to untreated mice. Proliferation of isolated spleen cells, as well as circulating levels of IgG antibody to type II collagen, was decreased by THR0921. Moreover, spleen cell production of IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-1β in response to exposure to lipopolysaccharide or type II collagen was reduced by in vivo treatment with THR0921. Steady state mRNA levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) in isolated joints were all decreased in mice treated with THR0921. Finally, THR0921 inhibited osteoclast differentiation of bone marrow-derived cells stimulated with macrophage colony-stimulating factor and RANKL. In conclusion, THR0921 attenuates collagen-induced arthritis in part by reducing the immune response. As such, PPARγ may be an important therapeutic target for rheumatoid arthritis.