Publications by authors named "Saida Aarrass"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

cDC1 are required for the initiation of collagen-induced arthritis.

J Transl Autoimmun 2020 16;3:100066. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is chronic autoimmune disease which etiology remains unknown. Several cell types have been described to potentiate/aggravate the arthritic process however the initiating event in synovial inflammation is still elusive. Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential for the initiation of primary immune responses and thus we hypothesized that these cells might be crucial for RA induction. DCs are a heterogeneous population of cells comprising different subsets with distinct phenotype and function. Here we investigated which DC subset(s) is/are crucial for the initiation of the arthritic process. We have previously demonstrated that Flt3-/- mice, with reduced DCs, were protected from collagen induced arthritis (CIA). Here we have shown that GM-CSF derived DCs in Flt3L-/- mice are functional but not sufficient to induce arthritis. Batf3 mice lacking both CD103 and CD8α cDC1 were resistant to collagen induced arthritis (CIA), demonstrating that this DC subset is crucial for arthritis development. CEP-701 (a Flt3L inhibitor) treatment prevented CIA induction, and reduced dramatically the numbers CD103 cDC1s present in the lymph nodes and synovium. Hence this study identified cDC1 as the main subset orchestrating the initiation of cell-mediated immunity in arthritis.
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September 2020

Synovial IL-21/TNF-producing CD4 T cells induce joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis by inducing matrix metalloproteinase production by fibroblast-like synoviocytes.

J Leukoc Biol 2017 03 12;101(3):775-783. Epub 2016 Oct 12.

Department of Immunology, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Campus, London, United Kingdom.

Bone and cartilage destruction is one of the key manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although the role of T helper (Th)17 cells in these processes is clear, the role of IL-21-producing cells T cells has been neglected. We sought to investigate the role of IL-21 in RA by focusing on the functional characteristics of the main producers of this cytokine, synovial CD4IL-21 T cells. We show that the frequency of both synovial fluid (SF) CD4IL-21 or CD4IL-21TNF T cells in patients with RA was significantly higher compared with patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). The frequency of peripheral blood (PB) IL-21CD4 T cells in patients with RA positively correlated with disease activity score 28 (DAS28), serum anticyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies and IgM-rheumatoid factor (IgM-RF). IL-21 levels in RA SF were associated with matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-3. Related to this, IL-21 induced significantly the secretion of MMP-1 and MMP-3 in RA synovial biopsies. Sorted SF CD4IL-21 T cells significantly induced the release of MMP-1 and MMP-3 by fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) compared with medium or CD4IL-21 T cells in a coculture system. Neutralization of both IL-21 and TNF resulted in significantly less production of MMP by FLS. The results of this study indicate a new role for synovial CD4IL-21TNF T cells in promoting synovial inflammation/joint destruction in patients with RA. Importantly, IL-21 blockade in combination with anti-TNF might be an effective therapy in patients with RA by inhibiting MMP-induced inflammation/joint destruction.
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March 2017

Reduced CLEC9A expression in synovial tissue of psoriatic arthritis patients after adalimumab therapy.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2016 09 13;55(9):1575-84. Epub 2016 May 13.

Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology Department Experimental Immunology Department

Objectives: We aimed to investigate the early changes in expression of C-type lectin domain family 9, member A (CLEC9A), a C-type lectin that is specifically expressed by the CD141(+) dendritic cell subset that is involved in cross-presentation to CD8(+) T cells, by evaluating gene and/or protein expression in three different compartments [skin, synovial tissue (ST) and serum] after short-term adalimumab treatment in PsA patients compared with placebo.

Methods: Patients with active PsA and psoriasis were randomized to receive adalimumab or placebo for 4 weeks. Synovial and skin biopsies were obtained before and after 4 weeks of treatment and serum samples 4 weeks, 12 weeks and 1 year after treatment. Skin and serum from healthy donors were used as control. CLEC9A expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry, double immunofluorescence using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase 2'-deoxyuridine 5'-triphosphate nick-end labelling (TUNEL), quantitative PCR and ELISA.

Results: CLEC9A expression was significantly higher in psoriatic skin compared with healthy donor. In psoriatic skin and PsA ST, CLEC9A(+) cells were in close proximity to TUNEL(+) cells. SF CLEC9A levels were significantly lower compared with paired PsA serum. Adalimumab treatment did not affect CLEC9A serum level and skin expression. However, ST CLEC9A protein expression was significantly decreased after adalimumab treatment compared with the placebo group while CLEC9A gene expression remained unchanged. There was a positive correlation between T cell numbers and ST CLEC9A protein expression. CD141(+) cell numbers and chemokine (C motif) receptor 1 expression were not affected with adalimumab treatment.

Conclusion: Altogether, the present study suggests that the downregulation of synovial CLEC9A might be associated with a novel mechanism by which anti-TNF therapy might reduce CD8-mediated inflammation in PsA patients.
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September 2016

Heterogeneous expression pattern of interleukin 17A (IL-17A), IL-17F and their receptors in synovium of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis: possible explanation for nonresponse to anti-IL-17 therapy?

Arthritis Res Ther 2014 Aug 22;16(4):426. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

Introduction: Accumulating evidence suggests an important role for interleukin 17 (IL-17) in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Accordingly, clinical trials aimed at blocking IL-17 have been initiated, but clinical results between patients and across different diseases have been highly variable. The objective was to determine the variability in expression of IL-17A, IL-17F and their receptors IL-17RA and IL-17RC in the synovia of patients with arthritis.

Methods: Synovial biopsies were obtained from patients with RA (n = 11), PsA (n = 15) and inflammatory osteoarthritis (OA, n = 14). For comparison, synovia from noninflamed knee joints (n = 7) obtained from controls were included. Frozen sections were stained for IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-17RA and IL-17RC and evaluated by digital image analysis. We used confocal microscopy to determine which cells in the synovium express IL-17A and IL-17F, double-staining with CD4, CD8, CD15, CD68, CD163, CD31, von Willebrand factor, peripheral lymph node address in, lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1, mast cell tryptase and retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor γt (RORγt).

Results: IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-17RA and IL-17RC were abundantly expressed in synovial tissues of all patient groups. Whereas IL-17RA was present mostly in the synovial sublining, IL-17RC was abundantly expressed in the intimal lining layer. Digital image analysis showed a significant (P < 0.05) increase of only IL-17A in arthritis patients compared to noninflamed control tissues. The expression of IL-17A, IL-17F and their receptors was similar in the different patient groups, but highly variable between individual patients. CD4+ and CD8+ cells coexpressed IL-17A, and few cells coexpressed IL-17F. IL-17A and IL-17F were not expressed by CD15+ neutrophils. Mast cells were only occasionally positive for IL-17A or IL-17F. Interestingly, IL-17A and IL-17F staining was also observed in macrophages, as well as in blood vessels and lymphatics. This staining probably reflects receptor-bound cytokine staining. Many infiltrated cells were positive for the transcription factor RORγt. Colocalisation between RORγt and IL-17A and IL-17F indicates local IL-17 production.

Conclusions: Increased expression of IL-17A is not restricted to synovial tissues of RA and PsA patients; it is also observed in inflammatory OA. The heterogeneous expression levels may explain nonresponse to anti-IL-17 therapy in subsets of patients.
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August 2014

FMS-related tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L)/CD135 axis in rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis Res Ther 2013 ;15(6):R209

Introduction: The FMS-related tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L)/CD135 axis plays a fundamental role in proliferation and differentiation of dendritic cells (DCs). As DCs play an important role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) immunopathology we studied in detail the Flt3L/CD135 axis in RA patients.

Methods: The levels of Flt3L in (paired) serum and synovial fluid (SF) were quantified by enzyme-link immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Expression of Flt3L and CD135 in paired peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and synovial fluid mononuclear cells (SFMCs) was quantified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The expression of Flt3L, CD135 and TNF-Converting Enzyme (TACE) in synovial tissues (STs) and in vitro polarized macrophages and monocyte-derived DCs (Mo-DCs) was assessed by quantitative PCR (qPCR). CD135 ST expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and TACE ST expression was assessed by immunofluorescence. Flt3L serum levels were assessed in RA patients treated with oral prednisolone or adalimumab.

Results: Flt3L levels in RA serum, SF and ST were significantly elevated compared to gout patients and healthy individuals (HI). RA SF monocytes, natural killer cells and DCs expressed high levels of Flt3L and CD135 compared to HI. RA ST CD68+ and CD163+ macrophages, CD55+ fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS), CD31+ endothelial cells or infiltrating monocytes and CD19+ B cells co-expressed TACE. IFN-γ-differentiated macrophages expressed higher levels of Flt3L compared to other polarized macrophages. Importantly, Flt3L serum levels were reduced by effective therapy.

Conclusions: The Flt3L/CD135 axis is active in RA patients and is responsive to both prednisolone and adalimumab treatment. Conceivably, this ligand receptor pair represents a novel therapeutic target.
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November 2014

Why CCR2 and CCR5 blockade failed and why CCR1 blockade might still be effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

PLoS One 2011 1;6(7):e21772. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: The aim of this study was to provide more insight into the question as to why blockade of CCR1, CCR2, and CCR5 may have failed in clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, using an in vitro monocyte migration system model.

Methodology/principal Findings: Monocytes from healthy donors (HD; n = 8) or from RA patients (for CCR2 and CCR5 antibody n = 8; for CCR1 blockade n = 13) were isolated from peripheral blood and pre-incubated with different concentrations of either anti-CCR1, anti-CCR2, or anti-CCR5 blocking antibodies (or medium or isotype controls). In addition, a small molecule CCR1 antagonist (BX471) was tested. Chemotaxis was induced by CCL2/MCP-1 (CCR2 ligand), CCL5/RANTES (CCR1 and CCR5 ligand), or by a mix of 5 RA synovial fluids (SFs), and cellular responses compared to chemotaxis in the presence of medium alone. Anti-CCR2 antibody treatment blocked CCL2/MCP-1-induced chemotaxis of both HD and RA monocytes compared to isotype control. Similarly, anti-CCR5 antibody treatment blocked CCL5/RANTES-induced chemotaxis of RA monocytes. While neither CCR2 nor CCR5 blocking antibodies were able to inhibit SF-induced monocyte chemotaxis, even when both receptors were blocked simultaneously, both anti-CCR1 antibodies and the CCR1 antagonist were able to inhibit SF-induced monocyte chemotaxis.

Conclusions/significance: The RA synovial compartment contains several ligands for CCR1, CCR2, and CCR5 as well as other chemokines and receptors involved in monocyte recruitment to the site of inflammation. The results suggest that CCR2 and CCR5 are not critical for the migration of monocytes towards the synovial compartment in RA. In contrast, blockade of CCR1 may be effective. Conceivably, CCR1 blockade failed in clinical trials, not because CCR1 is not a good target, but because very high levels of receptor occupancy at all times may be needed to inhibit monocyte migration in vivo.
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November 2011

Transcriptional profiling reveals novel markers of liver fibrogenesis: gremlin and insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins.

J Biol Chem 2006 Jun 10;281(24):16289-95. Epub 2006 Apr 10.

AMC Liver Center, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 69-71, 1105 BK Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Activated hepatic stellate cells (HSC) that transdifferentiate to myofibroblasts in the injured liver are responsible for scar formation that leads to fibrosis and eventually cirrhosis. To investigate the gene expression profile during different stages of this process, we performed serial analysis of gene expression, representing a quantitative and qualitative description of all expressed genes. Stellate cells were isolated from human livers and cultured. Serial analysis of gene expression was performed on RNA isolated from quiescent, activated, and transdifferentiated HSC. Comparison of the three resulting transcriptomes showed that less than 5% of all genes changed significantly in expression. Established markers of liver fibrosis showed enhanced expression in accordance with the transdifferentiation process. In addition, induction was seen for several genes not yet recognized to be involved in liver fibrosis, such as insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins (IGFBP) and antagonists of bone morphogenic proteins: follistatin and gremlin. The induction of these genes was validated in vivo in mice developing liver fibrosis. The expression of IGFBPs and gremlin was measurable in the livers of these mice, whereas it was low or undetectable in control mice without liver fibrosis. Since gremlin modulates the activity of bone morphogenic growth factors, it may represent a novel pathway and a target for therapeutic intervention and together with IGFBPs it could be a specific marker of liver fibrosis. In conclusion, the comparison of the three transcriptomes of (activated) stellate cells reveals novel genes involved in fibrogenesis and provides an appreciation of the sequence and timing of the fibrotic process in liver.
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June 2006