Elevated substance P and accelerated cartilage degradation in rabbit knees injected with interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor

Arthritis and Rheumatism
E M O'ByrneA Y Jeng


Cytokines, interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor alpha, and the neurotransmitter, substance P, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of arthritis because they stimulate synovial cells to secrete prostaglandin E2 and collagenase in vitro. We investigated in vivo changes in intraarticular substance P and the degradation of cartilage proteoglycan in response to intraarticular cytokine injections in rabbits. Twenty-four hours after a single injection of 10 ng, 30 ng, or 100 ng of recombinant human IL-1 alpha (rHuIL-1 alpha) per joint, the mean +/- SEM levels of substance P detected in the cell-free joint lavage fluid were 250 +/- 67 fmoles, 480 +/- 60 fmoles, and 530 +/- 130 fmoles (n = 4-5), respectively. The level of substance P in the contralateral knees injected with diluent was 58 +/- 8 fmoles (n = 12). The level of substance P had increased by 2 hours after IL-1 injection and remained elevated in the joint 48 hours after injection. Cytokine-induced proteoglycan depletion was also time- and dose-dependent. Proteoglycan concentrations in articular cartilage dissected from the weight-bearing condyles were calculated as the ratio of sulfated glycosaminoglycan measured using 1,9-dimethylmethylene blue: hydroxyproline. Aft...Continue Reading


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