Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2008;3(11):e3633. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003633. Epub 2008 Nov 4.

Intra-articular fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand expression is a driving force in induction and progression of arthritis.

Author information

1
Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden. mats.dehlin@vgregion.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

One of the hallmarks of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is hyperplasia and inflammation of the synovial tissue being characterized by in situ occurrence of highly differentiated leukocytes. Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (Flt3) has a crucial role in hematopoiesis, regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Typically, Flt3 is expressed on early myeloid and lymphoid progenitors and is activated by its soluble ligand (Flt3-L). The highly differentiated cellular pattern in the synovium of the RA patients made us hypothesize that Flt3-L, with its ability to induce proliferation and differentiation, could be of importance in induction and/or progression of arthritis.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

To investigate occurrence of Flt3-L in RA we have measured its levels in matched serum and synovial fluid samples from 130 patients and 107 controls. To analyse the pro-inflammatory role of Flt3-L, we continuously overexpressed this protein locally in healthy mouse joints using homologous B-cell line transfected with Flt3-L gene. Additionally, recombinant Flt3-L was instillated intra-articularly in combination with peptidoglycans, a Toll Like Receptor 2-ligand with stong arthritogenic properties. Our results show significantly higher levels of Flt3-L in the synovial fluid as compared to serum levels in RA subjects (p = 0.0001). In addition, RA synovial fluid levels of Flt-3-L were significantly higher than these obtained from synovial fluids originating from non-inflammatory joint diseases (p = 0.022). Intra-articular administration of B-cell line transfected with Flt3-L gene resulted in highly erosive arthritis while inoculation of the same B-cell line without hyperexpression of Flt3-L did not induce erosivity and only in a minority of cases caused synovial proliferation! Flt3-ligand potentiated peptidoglycan induced arthritis as compared to mice injected with peptidoglycan alone (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Our findings indicate that Flt3-L is strongly expressed at the site of inflammation in human RA. It exerts both pro-inflammatory and tissue destructive properties once in the joint cavity. Owing to these properties, treatment attempts to neutralize this molecule should be considered in RA.

PMID:
18982072
PMCID:
PMC2575855
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0003633
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center