We hypothesized that exudates collected at the beginning of the resolution phase of inflammation might be enriched for tissue protective molecules; thus an integrated cellular and molecular approach was applied to identify novel chondroprotective bioactions. Exudates were collected 6 h (inflammatory) and 24 h (resolving) following carrageenan-induced pleurisy in rats. The resolving exudate was subjected to gel filtration chromatography followed by proteomics, identifying 61 proteins. Fractions were added to C28/I2 chondrocytes, grown in micromasses, ions with or without IL-1β or osteoarthritic synovial fluids for 48 h. Three proteins were selected from the proteomic analysis, α1-antitrypsin (AAT), hemopexin (HX), and gelsolin (GSN), and tested against catabolic stimulation for their effects on glycosaminoglycan deposition as assessed by Alcian blue staining, and gene expression of key anabolic proteins by real-time PCR. In an in vivo model of inflammatory arthritis, cartilage integrity was determined histologically 48 h after intra-articular injection of AAT or GSN. The resolving exudate displayed protective activities on chondrocytes, using multiple readouts: these effects were retained in low m.w. fractions of the exudate (46.7% increase in glycosaminoglycan deposition; ∼20% upregulation of COL2A1 and aggrecan mRNA expression), which reversed the effect of IL-1β. Exogenous administration of HX, GSN, or AAT abrogated the effects of IL-1β and osteoarthritic synovial fluids on anabolic gene expression and increased glycosaminoglycan deposition. Intra-articular injection of AAT or GSN protected cartilage integrity in mice with inflammatory arthritis. In summary, the strategy for identification of novel chondroprotective activities in resolving exudates identified HX, GSN and AAT as potential leads for new drug discovery programs.
This work was supported by the William Harvey Research Foundation through an unrestricted grant from UCB Celltech, Slough, U.K.
The online version of this article contains supplemental material.
- Received June 29, 2016.
- Accepted January 29, 2017.
- Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.