Expression of protease-activated receptors in arthritic synovial tissues
© BioMed Central Ltd 2002
Received: 15 January 2002
Published: 4 February 2002
Clinical and experimental evidence suggests that synovial thrombin formation in arthritic joints is prominent and deleterious, leading to exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this context, cellular effects of thrombin mediated by the protease-activated receptors (PARs) in arthritic joints may be of paramount significance. Four PARs have now been identified. PAR1, PAR3, and PAR4 can all be activated by thrombin whereas PAR2 is activated by trypsin and few other proteases.
We first explored PARs expression in RA synovial tissues. Synovial membranes from 11 RA patients were analyzed for PARs expression by RT-PCR and by immunohistology. PAR4 was found in all the biopsies, whereas the expression of PAR1, PAR 2 and PAR3 was more restricted (8/11, 5/11 and 3/11 respectively). In the arthritic synovial membrane of murine antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) we found coexpression of the four different PARs. Next, we explored the functional importance of PAR1 during AIA in vivo using PAR-1 deficient mice. The phenotype of PAR1-deficient mice (n = 22), based on the analysis of arthritis severity (as measured by 99 m tecnetium uptake, histological scoring and intra-articular fibrin measurements) was similar to that of wild-type mice (n = 24). In addition, the in vivo production of antibodies against mBSA was also similar. By contrast, the mBSA-induced in vitro lymph node cell proliferation was significantly decreased in PAR1-deficient mice as compared with controls. Accordingly, mBSA-induced production of interferon-γ by lymph node cells in culture was significantly decreased in PAR1-deficient mice as compared with controls, whereas opposite results were observed for production of IL-10.