Author(s): Corallini F, Bossi F, Gonelli A, Tripodo C, Castellino G,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Complement activation products contribute to a large number of inflammatory diseases, including RA. We have investigated whether osteoprotegerin (OPG) may concur with the soluble terminal complement complex (SC5b-9) to the inflammatory cascade characterizing RA. METHODS: Levels of SC5b-9 and OPG in the plasma and SF of patients with active RA were determined by ELISA. The presence of SC5b-9 and OPG in RA synovial lesions was analysed by immunohistochemistry. Cultured endothelial cells were used for in vitro leucocyte/endothelial cell adhesion assays. In addition, endothelial cells were exposed to SC5b-9 in order to evaluate the effects on the production of OPG protein, as well as the activation of the OPG promoter. RESULTS: Patients affected by active RA are characterized by elevated levels of both SC5b-9 and OPG in plasma and/or SF. Of note, we have observed a co-localization of SC5b-9 and OPG in endothelial cells of post-capillary venules of RA synovial lesions. Data on endothelial cell cultures showed that exposure to SC5b-9 induced the up-regulation of OPG expression/release, stimulating the transcriptional activity of the OPG promoter, and synergized with TNF-alpha in up-regulating OPG production. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that SC5b-9 induces OPG production by endothelial cells and we propose that the SC5b-9-mediated up-regulation of OPG may be an important mechanism whereby complement contributes in promoting and/or enhancing the inflammation in RA.
This article was published in Rheumatology (Oxford)
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy