One of the central functions of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, such as p21, p27, or p16, is to prevent entry into the cell cycle. However, the question remains as to whether they have other functions in the cell. We previously demonstrated that overexpression of p21 in fibroblasts isolated from patients with rheumatoid arthritis decreases the production of proinflammatory molecules. Overexpression of p21 has been also shown to reduce the development of experimental arthritis in mice and rats. To explore the role of endogenous p21 in the development of arthritis, we induced arthritis in p21-/- mice using the K/BxN serum transfer model of arthritis. Mice deficient in p21 were more resistant to seram transfer-induced arthritis (K/BxN) than wild-type (wt) control mice. Fewer macrophages were detected in p21-/- as compared to wt joints following transfer of K/BxN seram. Chemotaxis assays of bone marrow-derived macrophages from p21-/- and wt mice revealed no difference in migration. However, there was a substantial decrease in inflammatory monocytes circulating in peripheral blood and in monocyte precursors in bone marrow of p21-/- mice as compared to wt mice. Adoptive transfer of wt bone marrow-derived macrophages into p21-/- mice restored the sensitivity to serum transfer-induced arthritis. These data suggest a novel role for p21 in regulating the development and/or differentiation of monocytic populations that are crucial for the induction of inflammatory arthritis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine