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      Development of Chronic Inflammatory Arthropathy Resembling Rheumatoid Arthritis in Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist–Deficient Mice

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          Interleukin (IL)-1 is a proinflammatory cytokine that plays important roles in inflammation, host defense, and the neuro-immuno-endocrine network. IL-1 receptor antagonist (ra) is an endogenous inhibitor of IL-1 and is supposed to regulate IL-1 activity. However, its pathophysiological roles in a body remain largely unknown. To elucidate the roles of IL-1ra, IL-1ra–deficient mice were produced by gene targeting, and pathology was analyzed on different genetic backgrounds. We found that all of the mice on a BALB/cA background, but not those on a C57BL/6J background, spontaneously developed chronic inflammatory polyarthropathy. Histopathology showed marked synovial and periarticular inflammation, with articular erosion caused by invasion of granulation tissues closely resembling that of rheumatoid arthritis in humans. Moreover, elevated levels of antibodies against immunoglobulins, type II collagen, and double-stranded DNA were detected in these mice, suggesting development of autoimmunity. Proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor α were overexpressed in the joints, indicating regulatory roles of IL-1ra in the cytokine network. We thus show that IL-1ra gene deficiency causes autoimmunity and joint-specific inflammation and suggest that IL-1ra is important in maintaining homeostasis of the immune system. Possible involvement of IL-1ra gene deficiency in RA will be discussed.

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          Autoimmunity to type II collagen an experimental model of arthritis

          We have found that intradermal injection of native type II collagen extracted from human, chick or rat cartilage induces an inflammatory arthritis in approximately 40% of rats of several strains whether complete Freund's adjuvant or incomplete Freund's adjuvant is used. Type I or III collagen extracted from skin, cartilage proteoglycans and alpha1(II) chains were incapable of eliciting arthritis, as was type II collagen injected without adjuvant. The disease is a chronic proliferative synovitis, resembling adjuvant arthritis in rats and rheumatoid arthritis in humans. Native type II co-lagen modified by limited pepsin digestion still produces arthritis, suggesting that type- specific determinants residing in the helical region of the molecule are responsible for the induction of disease. Since homologous type II collagen emulsified in oil without bacterial preparations regularly causes the disease, this new animal model of arthritis represents a unique example of experimentally-inducible autoimmunity to a tissue component.
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            Production of Mice Deficient in Genes for Interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-1α/β, and IL-1 Receptor Antagonist Shows that IL-1β Is Crucial in Turpentine-induced Fever Development and Glucocorticoid Secretion

            Interleukin (IL)-1 is a major mediator of inflammation and exerts pleiotropic effects on the neuro-immuno-endocrine system. To elucidate pathophysiological roles of IL-1, we have first produced IL-1α/β doubly deficient (KO) mice together with mice deficient in either the IL-1α, IL-1β, or IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) genes. These mice were born healthy, and their growth was normal except for IL-1ra KO mice, which showed growth retardation after weaning. Fever development upon injection with turpentine was suppressed in IL-1β as well as IL-1α/β KO mice, but not in IL-1α KO mice, whereas IL-1ra KO mice showed an elevated response. At this time, expression of IL-1β mRNA in the diencephalon decreased 1.5-fold in IL-1α KO mice, whereas expression of IL-1α mRNA decreased >30-fold in IL-1β KO mice, suggesting mutual induction between IL-1α and IL-1β. This mutual induction was also suggested in peritoneal macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide in vitro. In IL-1β KO mice treated with turpentine, the induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (EC in the diencephalon was suppressed, whereas it was enhanced in IL-1ra KO mice. We also found that glucocorticoid induction 8 h after turpentine treatment was suppressed in IL-1β but not IL-1α KO mice. These observations suggest that IL-1β but not IL-1α is crucial in febrile and neuro-immuno-endocrine responses, and that this is because IL-1α expression in the brain is dependent on IL-1β. The importance of IL-1ra both in normal physiology and under stress is also suggested.
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              Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist activity of a human interleukin-1 inhibitor.

              Three interleukin-1 inhibitors have been purified to homogeneity from medium conditioned by human monocytes. Partial sequence analysis and digestion with N-glycanase indicate that these are glycosylation forms of a single protein. The protein binds to the interleukin-1 receptor but has no interleukin-1-like activity, even at very high concentrations, and is therefore a pure receptor antagonist.

                Author and article information

                J Exp Med
                The Journal of Experimental Medicine
                The Rockefeller University Press
                17 January 2000
                : 191
                : 2
                : 313-320
                [a ]Center for Experimental Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan
                [b ]Developmental Research Laboratories, Santen Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Osaka 533-8651, Japan
                © 2000 The Rockefeller University Press
                Original Article


                il-1 receptor antagonist, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmunity, animal model, cytokine


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