Delayed-type hypersensitivity arthritis (DTHA) is a recently established experimental model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in mice with pharmacological values. Despite an indispensable role of CD4+ T cells in inducing DTHA, a potential role for CD4+ T cell subsets is lacking. Here we have quantified CD4+ subsets during DTHA development and found that levels of activated, pro-inflammatory Th1, Th17, and memory CD4+ T cells in draining lymph nodes were increased with differential dynamic patterns after DTHA induction. Moreover, according to B-cell depletion experiments, it has been suggested that this cell type is not involved in DTHA. We show that DTHA is associated with increased levels of B cells in draining lymph nodes accompanied by increased levels of circulating IgG. Finally, using the anti-rheumatoid agents, methotrexate (MTX) and the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone (DEX), we show that MTX and DEX differentially suppressed DTHA-induced paw swelling and inflammation. The effects of MTX and DEX coincided with differential regulation of levels of Th1, Th17, and memory T cells as well as B cells. Our results implicate Th1, Th17, and memory T cells, together with activated B cells, to be involved and required for DTHA-induced paw swelling and inflammation.
Keywords: CD4+ T cell; DTHA mouse model; dexamethasone; methotrexate; rheumatoid arthritis.
Copyright © 2021 Li, Kolan, Guo, Marciniak, Kolan, Malachin, Grimolizzi, Haraldsen and Skålhegg.