Activation of synovial fibroblasts (SFs) contributes to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by damaging synovial membranes and generating inflammatory cytokines that recruit immune cells to the joint. In this paper we profile cytokine secretion by primary human SFs from healthy tissues and from donors with RA and show that SF activation by TNF, IL-1α, and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (Poly(I:C)) cause secretion of multiple cytokines found at high levels in RA synovial fluids. We used interaction multiple linear regression to quantify therapeutic and countertherapeutic drug effects across activators and donors and found that the ability of drugs to block SF activation was strongly dependent on the identity of the activating cytokine. (5z)-7-oxozeaenol (5ZO), a preclinical drug that targets transforming growth factor-β–activated kinase 1 (TAK1), was more effective at blocking SF activation across all contexts than the approved drug tofacitinib, which supports the development of molecules similar to 5ZO for use as RA therapeutics.
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We thank S. Rudnicki and the HMS ICCB for automation assistance; B. Joughin, D. Clarke, M. Morris, J. Copeland, G. Nabozny, D. Klatte, and S. Pullen for helpful discussions; and N. Gray and T. Zhang at DFCI (Boston, Massachusetts, USA) for providing JNK-IN-8. This work was supported by the NIH (LINCS grant U54HL127365 to P.K.S., grant P50 GM107618 to P.K.S., and NRSA Fellowship 5F32AR062931 to D.S.J.) and by a sponsored research agreement dated 1 August 2009 from Boehringer Ingelheim Inc. to P.K.S. and D.A.L.
J.M.B. and J.L.S. were employees at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. during the course of the studies; D.A.L. and P.K.S. were consultants to Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Supplementary Results, Supplementary Tables 1–7 and Supplementary Figures 1–18. (PDF 12484 kb)
SF donor sample N2586. (XLS 602 kb)
SF donor sample N2645. (XLS 602 kb)
SF donor sample N2759. (XLS 602 kb)
SF donor sample RA1869. (XLS 602 kb)
SF donor sample RA1931. (XLS 602 kb)
SF donor sample RA2159. (XLS 602 kb)
SF donor sample RA2708. (XLS 602 kb)
SF donor sample N2586. (XLS 175 kb)
SF donor sample N2645. (XLS 175 kb)
SF donor sample N2759. (XLS 175 kb)
SF donor sample RA1869. (XLS 175 kb)
SF donor sample RA1931. (XLS 175 kb)
SF donor sample RA2159. (XLS 175 kb)
SF donor sample RA2708. (XLS 175 kb)
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Jones, D., Jenney, A., Swantek, J. et al. Profiling drugs for rheumatoid arthritis that inhibit synovial fibroblast activation. Nat Chem Biol 13, 38–45 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.2211
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