Author(s): Zhang Q, Lu Y, Proulx ST, Guo R, Yao Z,
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Abstract Angiogenesis is involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis, but little is known about the role of lymphangiogenesis in this setting. Here, we examined whether tumor necrosis factor (TNF) stimulates osteoclast precursors (OCPs) to produce the lymphatic growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C), and induce lymphangiogenesis. We used TNF-transgenic (Tg) mice and mice with serum-induced arthritis. OCPs were purified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting of CD11b+/Gr-1-/lo blood or bone marrow cells and subjected to microarray analysis or were generated from spleen or joint cells and treated with TNF. Expression of VEGFs was analyzed and examined by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting. Immunostaining and magnetic resonance imaging were used to quantify lymphatic vessels and volumes of synovium and draining lymph nodes. TNF stimulated VEGF-C expression by OCPs and increased nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) binding to an NF-kappaB sequence in the VEGF-C promoter. OCPs from joints of TNF-Tg mice express high levels of VEGF-C. Lymphatic vessel numbers and size were markedly increased in joint sections of TNF-Tg mice and mice with serum-induced arthritis. The severity of synovitis correlated with draining lymph node size. In summary, TNF induces OCPs to produce VEGF-C through NF-kappaB, leading to significantly increased lymphangiogenesis in joints of arthritic mice. The lymphatic system may play an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis.
This article was published in Arthritis Res Ther
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology