Objective: CF101, an A3 adenosine receptor (A3AR) agonist, is a small orally bioavailable molecule known to suppress in vitro the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). We evaluated its therapeutic potential and antiinflammatory effects in 3 murine models of adjuvant induced arthritis (AIA).
Methods: The antiinflammatory effect of CF101 was examined in rat AIA, in mouse collagen induced arthritis, and in tropomyosin induced arthritis. The clinical effect of another A3AR agonist, Cl-IB-MECA, was examined in rat AIA. The effect of low dose (10 or 100 mg/kg/day) A3AR agonists administered orally once daily on arthritis severity was assessed clinically and histologically. The effect of CF101 on the protein expression level of TNF-alpha in the synovial tissue, draining lymph nodes, and spleen cells was determined by Western blot.
Results: CF101 and Cl-IB-MECA markedly ameliorated the clinical and histological features of arthritis in the 3 models when administered orally at a low dose of 10 mg/kg body weight in the 3 autoimmune arthritis models. The lower dose of 10 mg/kg of either CF101 or Cl-IB-MECA had better antiinflammatory effect than the higher 100 mg/kg dose. Decreased expression of TNF-alpha was noted in protein extracts of synovia, draining lymph nodes, and spleen tissues.
Conclusion: The results provide evidence that A3AR agonists exert significant antirheumatic effects in different autoimmune arthritis models by suppression of TNF-alpha production. The beneficial activity of the drugs at the low dose demonstrates that the effect is A3AR mediated.