Evidence that TNF-β (lymphotoxin α) can activate the inflammatory environment in human chondrocytes

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Introduction: Inflammatory cytokines play a key role in the pathogenesis of joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Current therapies target mainly tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) as this has proven benefits. However, a large number of patients do not respond to or become resistant to anti-TNF-α therapy. While the role of TNF-α in RA is quite evident, the role of TNF-β, also called lymphotoxin-α (LT-α), is unclear. In this study we investigated whether TNF-β and its receptor play a role in chondrocytes in the inflammatory environment.Methods: An in vitro model of primary human chondrocytes was used to study TNF-β-mediated inflammatory signaling.Results: Cytokine-induced inflammation enhances TNF-β and TNF-β-receptor expression in primary human chondrocytes accompanied by the up-regulation of inflammatory (cyclooxygenase-2), matrix degrading (matrix metalloproteinase-9 and -13) and apoptotic (p53, cleaved caspase-3) signaling pathways, all known to be regulated by NF-κB. In contrast, anti-TNF-β, similar to the natural NF-κB inhibitor (curcumin, diferuloylmethane) or the knockdown of NF-κB by using antisense oligonucleotides (ASO), suppressed IL-1β-induced NF-κB activation and its translocation to the nucleus, and abolished the pro-inflammatory and apoptotic effects of IL-1β. This highlights, at least in part, the crucial role of NF-κB in TNF-β-induced-inflammation in cartilage, similar to that expected for TNF-α. Finally, the adhesiveness between TNF-β-expressing T-lymphocytes and the responding chondrocytes was significantly enhanced through a TNF-β-induced inflammatory microenvironment.Conclusions: These results suggest for the first time that TNF-β is involved in microenvironment inflammation in chondrocytes during RA parallel to TNF-α, resulting in the up-regulation of NF-κB signaling and activation of pro-inflammatory activity. © 2013 Buhrmann et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Buhrmann, C., Shayan, P., Aggarwal, B. B., & Shakibaei, M. (2013). Evidence that TNF-β (lymphotoxin α) can activate the inflammatory environment in human chondrocytes. Arthritis Research and Therapy, 15(6). https://doi.org/10.1186/ar4393

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