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Ann Rheum Dis. Jul 2004; 63(7): 884–886.
PMCID: PMC1755050

Methotrexate (MTX) and albumin coupled with MTX (MTX-HSA) suppress synovial fibroblast invasion and cartilage degradation in vivo

Abstract

Methods: Human cartilage and RA SF were co-transplanted in three groups of severe combined immunodeficient mice (SCID), which received 1 mg/kg free MTX (n = 9), 1 mg/kg MTX-HSA (n = 6), or 0.9% NaCl (n = 5), respectively, intraperitoneally twice a week. After 4 weeks' treatment, the mice were killed and the implants analysed histologically.

Results: The control group had a mean (SEM) score for cartilage invasion of RA SF of 2.0 (0.26) and for perichondrocytic cartilage degradation of 1.5 (0.34). In contrast, mice which received MTX showed a significantly reduced invasion (0.78 (0.14), p<0.01) and a reduction in perichondrocytic cartilage degradation scores (0.69 (0.2), p<0.05) in comparison with the control group. Mice treated with MTX-HSA also had significantly reduced scores for RA SF invasion into the cartilage (0.92 (0.41), p<0.05) and for cartilage degradation (0.83 (0.44), p<0.05) compared with controls. The effects of MTX and MTX-HSA were not significantly different between these two groups.

Conclusion: Treatment with MTX or MTX-HSA significantly ameliorates cartilage destruction in the SCID mouse model for human RA.

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Figures and Tables

Figure 1
 Treatment with MTX or albumin coupled MTX (MTX-HSA) suppresses cartilage invasion and perichondrocytic cartilage degradation in the SCID mice model of human RA. SCID mice were co-implanted subcutaneously with human cartilage and RA SF. Thereafter, ...
Figure 2
 H&E staining of co-transplanted RA SF and normal cartilage after an implantation time of 4 weeks from control mice (A; original magnification x800) and mice treated with either MTX (B; original magnification x1600) or MTX-HSA (original ...

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