Background: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory disease, characterised by synovitis and destruction of articular cartilage/bone. Janus-kinase and signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) signalling pathway is implicated in the pathogenesis of PsA.
Objectives: To examine the effect of tofacitinib (JAK inhibitor) on proinflammatory mechanisms in PsA.
Methods: Primary PsA synovial fibroblasts (PsAFLS) and ex vivo PsA synovial explants were cultured with tofacitinib (1 µM). PhosphoSTAT3 (pSTAT3), phosphoSTAT1 (pSTAT1), suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS3), protein inhibitor of activated Stat3 (PIAS3) and nuclear factor kappa B cells (NFκBp65) were quantified by western blot. The effect of tofacitinib on PsAFLS migration, invasion, Matrigel network formation and matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)2/9 was quantified by invasion/migration assays and zymography. Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IFN-gamma-inducible protein 10 (IP-10) monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, IL-17, IL-10, MMP3 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 3 (TIMP3) were assessed by ELISA.
Results: Tofacitinib significantly decreased pSTAT3, pSTAT1, NFκBp65 and induced SOCS3 and PIAS3 expression in PsAFLS and synovial explant cultures (p<0.05). Functionally, PsAFLS invasion, network formation and migration were inhibited by tofacitinib (all p<0.05). In PsA explant, tofacitinib significantly decreased spontaneous secretion of IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, MMP9/MMP2, MMP3 (all p<0.05) and decreased the MMP3/TIMP3 ratio (p<0.05), with no effect observed for IP-10 or IL-10.
Conclusions: This study further supports JAK-STAT inhibition as a therapeutic target for the treatment of PsA.
Keywords: Inflammation; Psoriatic Arthritis; Synovitis.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/