Background and purpose: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), a new class of anti-cancer agents, have recently been reported to exhibit potent anti-inflammatory activities. A proof of concept study was carried out with suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) and MS-275, two HDACi currently undergoing clinical investigations for various oncological indications.
Experimental approach: The anti-rheumatic effects of SAHA and MS-275 were assessed in both mouse and rat collagen induced arthritis (CIA) models.
Key results: SAHA exhibited moderate prophylactic efficacy. It attenuated paw swelling due to inflammation, decreased bone erosion in both mice and rats and reduced slightly the RA-induced bone resorption in rats. However, SAHA could not inhibit the onset of arthritis. In contrast, MS-275 displayed dramatic anti-rheumatic activities. In prophylactic intervention, high doses of MS-275 prevented bone erosion and markedly delayed the onset of arthritis; at low doses, MS-275 strongly attenuated paw swelling, bone erosion, and bone resorption associated with RA. Furthermore, the therapeutic efficacy of MS-275 was also documented. After the onset of arthritis, it could stop the disease progression and joint destruction. An anti inflammatory effect of MS-275 was also confirmed through its capacity to decrease serum IL-6 and IL-1beta levels in the CIA induced mouse model. The anti-rheumatic activity of MS-275 was also confirmed through histological observation. No synovial hyperplasia, pannus formation, cartilage or bone destruction were observed in the high dose prophylactic intervention in mice.
Conclusion and implication: This study strongly supported HDACi as an innovative therapeutic strategy for RA.