Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease of the joint synovial membranes. RA is difficult to prevent or treat; however, blocking proinflammatory cytokines is a general therapeutic strategy. Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) is reported to alleviate RA's inflammatory response and is being studied as a non-invasive physical therapy. In this current study, PEMF decreased paw inflammation in a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) murine model. PEMF treatment at 10 Hz was more effective in ameliorating arthritis than at 75 Hz. In the PEMF-treated CIA group, the gross inflammation score and cartilage destruction were lower than in the untreated CIA group. The CIA group treated with PEMF also showed lower serum levels of IL-1β but not IL-6, IL-17, or TNF-α. Serum levels of total anti-type II collagen IgG and IgG subclasses (IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b) remained unchanged. In contrast, tissue protein levels of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-Β (RANK), RANK ligand (RANKL), IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), and TNF-α receptor1 (TNFR1) were all lower in the ankle joints of the PEMF-treated CIA group compared with the CIA group. The results of this study suggest that PEMF treatment can preserve joint morphology cartilage and delay the occurrence of CIA. PEMF has potential as an effective adjuvant therapy that can suppress the progression of RA.
Keywords: collagen-induced arthritis; pulsed electromagnetic field; rheumatoid arthritis.