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Nat Commun. 2018 Feb 12;9(1):618. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-02935-4.

The p55TNFR-IKK2-Ripk3 axis orchestrates arthritis by regulating death and inflammatory pathways in synovial fibroblasts.

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Biomedical Sciences Research Center "Alexander Fleming", 16672, Vari, Greece.
Center of Experimental Rheumatology, University Hospital Zurich and University of Zurich, Wagistrasse 14, Schlieren, 8952, Zurich, Switzerland.
Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, 50674, Cologne, Germany.
Biomedical Sciences Research Center "Alexander Fleming", 16672, Vari, Greece.
Department of Physiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 11527, Athens, Greece.


NFκB activation and regulated cell death are important in tissue homeostasis, inflammation and pathogenesis. Here we show the role of the p55TNFR-IKK2l-Ripk3 axis in the regulation of synovial fibroblast homeostasis and pathogenesis in TNF-mediated mouse models of arthritis. Mesenchymal-specific p55TNFR triggering is indispensable for arthritis in acute and chronic TNF-dependent models. IKK2 in joint mesenchymal cells is necessary for the development of cartilage destruction and bone erosion; however, in its absence synovitis still develops. IKK2 deletion affects arthritic and antiapoptotic gene expression leading to hypersensitization of synovial fibroblasts to TNF/Ripk1-mediated death via district mechanisms, depending on acute or chronic TNF signals. Moreover, Ripk3 is dispensable for TNF-mediated arthritis, yet it is required for synovitis in mice with mesenchymal-specific IKK2 deletion. These results demonstrate that p55TNFR-IKK2-Ripk3 signalling orchestrates arthritogenic and death responses in synovial fibroblasts, suggesting that therapeutic manipulation of this pathway in arthritis may require combinatorial blockade of both IKK2 and Ripk3 signals.

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