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Glostrup, Denmark

Atkinson S.M.,Novo Nordisk AS | Atkinson S.M.,Copenhagen University | Atkinson S.M.,Immunexpress | Hoffmann U.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | And 10 more authors.
DMM Disease Models and Mechanisms | Year: 2016

Rodent models of arthritis have been extensively used in the elucidation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathogenesis and are instrumental in the development of therapeutic strategies. Here we utilise delayed-type hypersensitivity arthritis (DTHA), a model in C57BL/6 mice affecting one paw with synchronised onset, 100% penetrance and low variation. We investigate the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in DTHA through selective depletion of Tregs and the role of IL-17 in connection with Treg depletion. Given the relevance of Tregs in RA, and the possibility of developing Treg-directed therapies, this approach could be relevant for advancing the understanding of Tregs in inflammatory arthritis. Selective depletion of Tregs was achieved using a Foxp3-DTR-eGFP mouse, which expresses the diphtheria toxin receptor (DTR) and enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) under control of the Foxp3 gene. Anti-IL-17 monoclonal antibody (mAb) was used for IL-17 blockade. Numbers and activation of Tregs increased in the paw and its draining lymph node in DTHA, and depletion of Tregs resulted in exacerbation of disease as shown by increased paw swelling, increased infiltration of inflammatory cells, increased bone remodelling and increased production of inflammatory mediators, as well as increased production of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies. Anti-IL-17 mAb treatment demonstrated that IL-17 is important for disease severity in both the presence and absence of Tregs, and that IL-17 blockade is able to rescue mice from the exacerbated disease caused by Treg depletion and caused a reduction in RANKL, IL-6 and the number of neutrophils. We show that Tregs are important for the containment of inflammation and bone remodelling in DTHA. To our knowledge, this is the first study using the Foxp3-DTR-eGFP mouse on a C57BL/6 background for Treg depletion in an arthritis model, and we here demonstrate the usefulness of the approach to study the role of Tregs and IL-17 in arthritis. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Source

Verma V.,University of Michigan | Larsen B.D.,Zealand Pharma | Coombs W.,SUNY Upstate Medical University | Lin X.,University of Michigan | And 3 more authors.
Heart Rhythm | Year: 2010

Background: Gap junctions are potential targets for pharmacologic intervention. We previously developed a series of peptide sequences that prevent closure of connexin43 (Cx43) channels, bind to cardiac Cx43, and prevent acidification-induced uncoupling of cardiac gap junctions. Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify and validate the minimum core active structure in peptides containing an RR-N/Q-Y motif. Based on that information, we sought to generate a peptidomimetic molecule that acts on the chemical regulation of Cx43 channels. Methods: Experiments were based on a combination of biochemical, spectroscopic, and electrophysiologic techniques as well as molecular modeling of active pharmacophores with Cx43 activity. Results: Molecular modeling analysis indicated that the functional elements of the side chains in the motif RRXY form a triangular structure. Experimental data revealed that compounds containing such a structure bind to Cx43 and prevent Cx43 chemical gating. These results provided us with the first platform for drug design targeted to the carboxyl terminal of Cx43. Using that platform, we designed and validated a peptidomimetic compound (ZP2519; molecular weight 619 Da) that prevented octanol-induced uncoupling of Cx43 channels and pH gating of cardiac gap junctions. Conclusion: Structure-based drug design can be applied to the development of pharmacophores that act directly on Cx43. Small molecules containing these pharmacophores can serve as tools to determine the role of gap junction regulation in the control of cardiac rhythm. Future studies will determine whether these compounds can function as pharmacologic agents for the treatment of a selected subset of cardiac arrhythmias. © 2010 Heart Rhythm Society. All rights reserved. Source

Atkinson S.M.,Novo Nordisk AS | Atkinson S.M.,Copenhagen University | Bleil J.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Maier R.,German Rheumatism Research Center | And 10 more authors.
Arthritis Research and Therapy | Year: 2016

Background: The aims of the present study were to determine the relationship between bone destruction and bone formation in the delayed-type hypersensitivity arthritis (DTHA) model and to evaluate the effect of receptor activator of nuclear factor ΚB ligand (RANKL) blockade on severity of arthritis, bone destruction, and bone formation. Methods: DTHA was induced in C57BL/6 mice. Inflammation, erosive joint damage, and new bone formation were semiquantitatively scored by histology. Osteoclast activity was assessed in vivo, and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of mediators of bone destruction and bone formation were analyzed by mRNA deep sequencing. Serum concentrations of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b, carboxy-terminal telopeptide I (CTX-I), matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP3), and serum amyloid P component (SAP) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Anti-RANKL monoclonal antibody treatment was initiated at the time of immunization. Results: Bone destruction (MMP3 serum levels, cathepsin B activity, and RANKL mRNA) peaked at day 3 after arthritis induction, followed by a peak in cartilage destruction and bone erosion on day 5 after arthritis induction. Periarticular bone formation was observed from day 10. Induction of new bone formation indicated by enhanced Runx2, collagen X, osteocalcin, MMP2, MMP9, and MMP13 mRNA expression was observed only between days 8 and 11. Anti-RANKL treatment resulted in a modest reduction in paw and ankle swelling and a reduction of serum levels of SAP, MMP3, and CTX-I. Destruction of the subchondral bone was significantly reduced, while no effect on bone formation was seen. Conclusions: Anti-RANKL treatment prevents joint destruction but does not prevent new bone formation in the DTHA model. Thus, although occurring sequentially during the course of DTHA, bone destruction and bone formation are apparently not linked in this model. © 2016 Atkinson et al. Source

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