Objective: Macrophages are critical in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We recently demonstrated that FLIP is necessary for the differentiation and/or survival of macrophages. We also showed that FLIP is highly expressed in RA synovial macrophages. This study was undertaken to determine if a reduction in FLIP in mouse macrophages reduces synovial tissue macrophages and ameliorates serum-transfer arthritis. Methods: Mice with Flip deleted in myeloid cells (Flipf/fLysMc/+ mice) and littermate controls were used. Arthritis was induced by intraperitoneal injection of K/BxN serum. Disease severity was evaluated by clinical score and change in ankle thickness, and joints were examined by histology and immunohistochemistry. Cells were isolated from the ankles and bone marrow of the mice and examined by flow cytometry, real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction, or Western blotting. Results: In contrast to expectations, Flipf/fLysMc/+ mice developed more severe arthritis early in the clinical course, but peak arthritis was attenuated and the resolution phase more complete than in control mice. Prior to the induction of serum-transfer arthritis, the number of tissue-resident macrophages was reduced. On day 9 after arthritis induction, the number of F4/80high macrophages in the joints of the Flipf/fLysMc/+ mice was not decreased, but increased. FLIP was reduced in the F4/80high macrophages in the ankles of the Flipf/fLysMc/+ mice, while F4/80high macrophages expressed an antiinflammatory phenotype in both the Flipf/fLysMc/+ and control mice. Conclusion: Our observations suggest that reducing FLIP in macrophages by increasing the number of antiinflammatory macrophages may be an effective therapeutic approach to suppress inflammation, depending on the disease stage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy