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J Exp Med. 1997 Jul 7;186(1):131-7.

An antagonist of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) inhibits arthritis in the MRL-lpr mouse model.

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Biomedical Research Centre and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada.


An antagonist of human monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, which consists of MCP-1(9-76), had previously been characterized and shown to inhibit MCP-1 activity in vitro. To test the hypothesis that, by inhibiting endogenous MCP-1, the antagonist has antiinflammatory activity in vivo, we examined its effect in the MRL-lpr mouse model of arthritis. This strain spontaneously develops a chronic inflammatory arthritis that is similar to human rheumatoid arthritis. Daily injection of the antagonist, MCP-1(9-76), prevented the onset of arthritis as monitored by measuring joint swelling and by histopathological evaluation of the joints. In contrast, controls treated with native MCP-1 had enhanced arthritis symptoms, indicating that the inhibitory effect is specific to the antagonist. In experiments where the antagonist was given only after the disease had already developed, there was a marked reduction in symptoms and histopathology, although individuals varied in the magnitude of the response. The mechanism of inhibition of disease is not known, although the results suggest that it could be more complex than the competitive inhibition of ligand binding that is observed in vitro. The demonstration of the beneficial effects of an MCP-1 antagonist in arthritis suggests that chemokine receptor antagonists could have therapeutic application in inflammatory diseases.

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