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Cell Transplant. 2008;17(12):1371-80.

The therapeutic effect of extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) on collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice.

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School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Korea.


Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease. The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within an inflamed joint has been suggested as playing a significant pathogenic role. Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) is a major scavenger enzyme of ROS, which has received growing attention for its therapeutic potential. To investigate the therapeutic effect of EC-SOD in mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), we used mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) of transgenic mice that overexpresses EC-SOD on the skin by using hK14 promoter. DBA/1 mice that had been treated with bovine type II collagen were administrated subcutaneous injections of EC-SOD transgenic MEF (each at 1.4 x 10(60 cells) on days 28, 35, and 42 after primary immunization. To test EC-SOD activity, blood samples were collected in each group on day 49. The EC-SOD activity was nearly 1.5-fold higher in the transgenic MEF-treated group than in the nontransgenic MEF-treated group (p < 0.05). The severity of arthritis in mice was scored in a double-blind manner, with each paw being assigned a separate clinical score. The severity of arthritis in EC-SOD transgenic MEF-treated mice was significantly suppressed in the arthritic clinical score (p < 0.05). To investigate the alteration of cytokine levels, ELISA was used to measure blood samples. Levels of IL-1beta and TNF-alpha were reduced in the transgenic MEF-treated group (p < 0.05). Abnormalities of the joints were examined by H&E staining. There were no signs of inflammation except for mild hyperplasia of the synovium in the transgenic MEF-treated group. The proliferation of CII-specific T cells was lower in the transgenic MEF-treated mice than in those in the other groups. The transfer of EC-SOD transgenic MEF has shown a therapeutic effect in CIA mice and this approach may be a safer and more effective form of therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.

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