Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) is more effective in suppressing cytokine-induced catabolism in cartilage-synovium co-culture than in cartilage monoculture
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Background: Most in vitro studies of potential osteoarthritis (OA) therapies have used cartilage monocultures, even though synovium is a key player in mediating joint inflammation and, thereby, cartilage degeneration. In the case of interleukin-1 (IL-1) inhibition using its receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), like chondrocytes, synoviocytes also express IL-1 receptors that influence intra-articular IL-1 signaling and IL-1Ra efficacy. The short residence time of IL-1Ra after intra-articular injection requires the application of frequent dosing, which is clinically impractical and comes with increased risk of infection; these limitations motivate the development of effective drug delivery strategies that can maintain sustained intra-articular IL-1Ra concentrations with only a single injection. The goals of this study were to assess how the presence of synovium in IL-1-challenged cartilage-synovium co-culture impacts the time-dependent biological response of single and sustained doses of IL-1Ra, and to understand the mechanisms underlying any co-culture effects. Methods: Bovine cartilage explants with or without synovium were treated with IL-1α followed by single or multiple doses of IL-1Ra. Effects of IL-1Ra in rescuing IL-1α-induced catabolism in cartilage monoculture and cartilage-synovium co-culture were assessed by measuring loss of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and collagen using DMMB (dimethyl-methylene blue) and hydroxyproline assays, respectively, nitric oxide (NO) release using Griess assay, cell viability by fluorescence staining, metabolic activity using Alamar blue, and proteoglycan biosynthesis by radiolabel incorporation. Day 2 conditioned media from mono and co-cultures were analyzed by mass spectrometry and cytokine array to identify proteins unique to co-culture that contribute to biological crosstalk. Results: A single dose of IL-1Ra was ineffective, and a sustained dose was necessary to significantly suppress IL-1α-induced catabolism as observed by enhanced suppression of GAG and collagen loss, NO synthesis, rescue of chondrocyte metabolism, viability, and GAG biosynthesis rates. The synovium exhibited a protective role as the effects of single-dose IL-1Ra were significantly enhanced in cartilage-synovium co-culture and were accompanied by release of anti-catabolic factors IL-4, carbonic anhydrase-3, and matrilin-3. A total of 26 unique proteins were identified in conditioned media from co-cultures, while expression levels of many additional proteins important to cartilage homeostasis were altered in co-culture compared to monocultures; principal component analysis revealed distinct clustering between co-culture and cartilage and synovium monocultures, thereby confirming significant crosstalk. Conclusions: IL-1Ra suppresses cytokine-induced catabolism in cartilage more effectively in the presence of synovium, which was associated with endogenous production of anti-catabolic factors. Biological crosstalk between cartilage and synovium is significant; thus, their co-cultures should better model the intra-articular actions of potential OA therapeutics. Additionally, chondroprotective effects of IL-1Ra require sustained drug levels, underscoring the need for developing drug delivery strategies to enhance its joint residence time following a single intra-articular injection.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Journal||Arthritis Research and Therapy|
|Publication status||Published - 2019 Nov 13|