Introduction: Insulin like growth factor (IGF)-I can act on a variety of cells involved in cartilage and bone repair, yet IGF-I has not been studied extensively in the context of inflammatory arthritis. The objective of this study was to investigate whether IGF-I overexpression in the osteoblast lineage could lead to increased reparative or pathological bone formation in rheumatoid arthritis and/or spondyloarthritis respectively.
Methods: Mice overexpressing IGF-I in the osteoblast lineage (Ob-IGF-I+/-) line 324-7 were studied during collagen induced arthritis and in the DBA/1 aging model for ankylosing enthesitis. Mice were scored clinically and peripheral joints were analysed histologically for the presence of hypertrophic chondrocytes and osteocalcin positive osteoblasts.
Results: 90-100% of the mice developed CIA with no differences between the Ob-IGF-I+/- and non-transgenic littermates. Histological analysis revealed similar levels of hypertrophic chondrocytes and osteocalcin positive osteoblasts in the ankle joints. In the DBA/1 aging model for ankylosing enthesitis 60% of the mice in both groups had a clinical score 1<. Severity was similar between both groups. Histological analysis revealed the presence of hypertrophic chondrocytes and osteocalcin positive osteoblasts in the toes in equal levels.
Conclusion: Overexpression of IGF-I in the osteoblast lineage does not contribute to an increase in repair of erosions or syndesmophyte formation in mouse models for destructive and remodeling arthritis.