Although mast cells (MCs) often are abundant in the synovial tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the contribution of MCs to joint inflammation and cartilage loss remains poorly understood. MC-restricted tryptase/heparin complexes have proinflammatory activity, and significant amounts of human tryptase β (hTryptase-β) are present in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fluid. Mouse MC protease-6 (mMCP-6) is the ortholog of hTryptase-β, and this serine protease is abundant in the synovium of arthritic mice. We now report that C57BL/6 (B6) mice lacking their tryptase/heparin complexes have attenuated arthritic responses, with mMCP-6 as the dominant tryptase responsible for augmenting neutrophil infiltration in the K/BxN mouse serum-transfer arthritis model. While inflammation in this experimental arthritis model was not dependent on protease-activated receptor-2, it was dependent on the chemokine receptor CXCR2. In support of the latter data, exposure of synovial fibroblasts to hTryptase-β/heparin or mMCP-6/heparin complexes resulted in expression of the neutrophil chemotactic factors CXCL1/KC, CXCL5/LIX, and CXCL8/IL-8. Our proteomics, histochemistry, and immunohistochemistry data also revealed substantial loss of cartilage-derived aggrecan proteoglycans in the arthritic joints of wild-type B6 mice but not mMCP-6-null B6 mice. These observations demonstrate the functional contribution of MC-restricted tryptase/heparin complexes in the K/BxN mouse arthritis model and connect our mouse findings with rheumatoid arthritis pathophysiology.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2009|