Send to

Choose Destination
J Exp Med. 2008 Feb 18;205(2):331-7. doi: 10.1084/jem.20070906. Epub 2008 Feb 4.

Mesenchymal cell targeting by TNF as a common pathogenic principle in chronic inflammatory joint and intestinal diseases.

Author information

Institute of Immunology, Biomedical Sciences Research Center (BSRC) Alexander Fleming, Vari 16672, Greece.


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is key to the pathogenesis of various arthritic diseases and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Anti-TNF therapies have proved successful in the clinical treatment of these diseases, but a mechanistic understanding of TNF function is still lacking. We have investigated early cellular mechanisms of TNF function in these diseases using an established TNF transgenic model, which develops a spondyloarthritis-like disease characterized by peripheral joint arthritis, sacroiliitis, enthesitis, and Crohn's-like IBD. Bone marrow grafting experiments demonstrated that development of arthritis requires TNF receptor I (TNFRI) expression in the radiation-resistant compartment, which is also known to be a sufficient target of TNF in the development of Crohn's-like IBD in the same model. Early activation of synovial fibroblasts and intestinal myofibroblasts could also be demonstrated by perturbed expression of matrix metalloproteases and their inhibitors. Notably, selective Cre/loxP-mediated TNFRI expression in mesenchymal cells resulted in a fully arthritic-spondyloarthritic and intestinal phenotype, indicating that mesenchymal cells are primary and sufficient targets of TNF in these pathologies. Our results offer a novel mechanistic perspective for TNF function in gut and joint pathologies and indicate early common cellular pathways that may also explain the often observed synovial-gut axis in human disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center