Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a debilitating autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation and progressive destruction of joint tissue. It is also characterized by aberrant blood phenotypes including anemia and suppressed lymphopoiesis that contribute to morbidity in RA patients. However, the impact of RA on hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) has not been fully elucidated. Using a collagen-induced mouse model of human RA, we identified systemic inflammation and myeloid overproduction associated with activation of a myeloid differentiation gene program in HSC. Surprisingly, despite ongoing inflammation, HSC from arthritic mice remain in a quiescent state associated with activation of a proliferation arrest gene program. Strikingly, we found that inflammatory cytokine blockade using the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist anakinra led to an attenuation of inflammatory arthritis and myeloid expansion in the bone marrow of arthritic mice. In addition, anakinra reduced expression of inflammation-driven myeloid lineage and proliferation arrest gene programs in HSC of arthritic mice. Altogether, our findings show that inflammatory cytokine blockade can contribute to normalization of hematopoiesis in the context of chronic autoimmune arthritis.
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