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The role of α-defensin-1 and related signal transduction mechanisms in the production of IL-6, IL-8 and MMPs in rheumatoid fibroblast-like synoviocytes

Joong Kyong Ahn, Bo Huang, Eun-Kyung Bae, Eun-Jung Park, Ji-Won Hwang, Jaejoon Lee, Eun-Mi Koh, Hoon-Suk Cha
Rheumatology 2013, 52 (8): 1368-76
23620556

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of α-defensin-1 on the expression of IL-6, IL-8 and MMPs as well as the signal transduction mechanisms responsible for their expression in RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS).

METHODS: The concentrations of α-defensin-1 in SF were measured by ELISA. In RA FLS, mRNA expression of IL-6, IL-8 and MMPs and activation of signalling molecules were examined by real-time PCR, western blotting and electrophoretic mobility shift assay.

RESULTS: Concentrations of SF α-defensin-1 were significantly increased in RA patients compared with OA patients. The levels of mRNA expression of IL-6, IL-8, MMP-1 and MMP-3 were significantly increased in RA FLS treated with α-defensin-1 compared with controls. Furthermore, α-defensin-1 activated JNK and ERK in RA FLS, respectively. Treatment of RA FLS with ERK or JNK inhibitors prior to α-defensin-1 treatment resulted in reduced expression of IL-6, IL-8, MMP-1, and MMP-3 compared with controls. Remarkably, treatment of RA FLS with an ERK inhibitor prior to α-defensin-1 stimulation significantly reduced production of IL-6 and MMP-1 by approximately 71% and 98% compared with controls, respectively. The JNK inhibitor significantly suppressed α-defensin-1-induced MMP-1 production by approximately 73% compared with controls. Finally, there was a significant induction of NF-κB DNA binding activity in response to α-defensin-1.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that α-defensin-1 may play a role in RA pathogenesis by regulating the production of MMPs as well as IL-6 and IL-8. These processes were dependent on the regulation of the JNK and/or ERK and NF-κB pathways.

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