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NF-κB inhibitor dehydroxymethylepoxyquinomicin suppresses osteoclastogenesis and expression of NFATc1 in mouse arthritis without affecting expression of RANKL, osteoprotegerin or macrophage colony-stimulating factor

Tetsuo Kubota1*, Machiko Hoshino1, Kazuhiro Aoki2, Keiichi Ohya2, Yukiko Komano3, Toshihiro Nanki3, Nobuyuki Miyasaka3 and Kazuo Umezawa4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Tokyo, Japan

2 Department of Hard Tissue Engineering, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School, Tokyo, Japan

3 Department of Medicine and Rheumatology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School, Tokyo, Japan

4 Department of Applied Chemistry, Keio University, Kanagawa, Japan

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:R97  doi:10.1186/ar2298

Published: 25 September 2007


Inhibition of NF-κB is known to be effective in reducing both inflammation and bone destruction in animal models of arthritis. Our previous study demonstrated that a small cell-permeable NF-κB inhibitor, dehydroxymethylepoxyquinomicin (DHMEQ), suppresses expression of proinflammatory cytokines and ameliorates mouse arthritis. It remained unclear, however, whether DHMEQ directly affects osteoclast precursor cells to suppress their differentiation to mature osteoclasts in vivo. The effect of DHMEQ on human osteoclastogenesis also remained elusive. In the present study, we therefore examined the effect of DHMEQ on osteoclastogenesis using a mouse collagen-induced arthritis model, and using culture systems of fibroblast-like synovial cells obtained from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and of osteoclast precursor cells from peripheral blood of healthy volunteers. DHMEQ significantly suppressed formation of osteoclasts in arthritic joints, and also suppressed expression of NFATc1 along the inner surfaces of bone lacunae and the eroded bone surface, while serum levels of soluble receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL), osteoprotegerin and macrophage colony-stimulating factor were not affected by the treatment. DHMEQ also did not suppress spontaneous expression of RANKL nor of macrophage colony-stimulating factor in culture of fibroblast-like synovial cells obtained from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These results suggest that DHMEQ suppresses osteoclastogenesis in vivo, through downregulation of NFATc1 expression, without significantly affecting expression of upstream molecules of the RANKL/receptor activator of NF-κB/osteoprotegerin cascade, at least in our experimental condition. Furthermore, in the presence of RANKL and macrophage colony-stimulating factor, differentiation and activation of human osteoclasts were also suppressed by DHMEQ, suggesting the possibility of future application of NF-κB inhibitors to rheumatoid arthritis therapy.