This study was performed to investigate whether peroxisome proliterator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) exerted an anti-inflammatory effect on rheumatoid synovial cells and inhibited dysregulated proliferation. The expression of PPAR-gamma mRNA in cultured human synoviocytes and THP-1 cells was analysed by RT-PCR. PPAR-gamma was expressed in normal, osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial cells as well as a human monocytic cell line, THP-1. In RA and OA synoviocytes, the induction of inflammatory cytokine mRNA expression such as TNF-alpha and IL-1beta was significantly inhibited by the natural PPAR-gamma agonist, 15 deoxy-Delta(12,14)prostaglandin J(2)(15d-PGJ(2)). The effect of PPAR-gamma on the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activity was tested by electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). Both troglitazone and 15d-PGJ(2)markedly inhibited TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activation at 30 microM. However, PPAR-gamma agonist neither reduced proliferation nor induced apoptosis in RA synoviocytes when measured by XTT assay and fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS) analysis. In contrast, it induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in THP-1 cells and augmented TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis as well. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that PPAR-gamma is expressed in human synoviocytes and THP-1 cells, and the PPAR-gamma activation inhibits expression of inflammatory cytokines in RA synoviocytes. Furthermore, PPAR-gamma activation induces apoptosis by itself and augments TRAIL/Apo2L-induced apoptosis in THP-1 cells. These results suggest that PPAR-gamma agonists may provide a new therapeutic approach for RA.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.