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During rheumatoid arthritis there is enlargement and increased cellularity of the synovial lining of joints, before invasion by the synovium of the underlying cartilage and bone. This increased tissue mass requires a network of blood vessels to supply nutrients and oxygen. Disruption of synovial angiogenesis is thus a desirable aim of antiarthritic therapies. Protease-activated kringles 1-5 (K1-5) is an angiogenesis inhibitor related to angiostatin. In common with angiostatin, K1-5 contains the first four kringle domains of plasminogen, but also encompasses the kringle 5 domain, which confers enhanced antiangiogenic activity when compared with angiostatin. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effect on murine arthritis of K1-5. Arthritis was induced in DBA/1 mice by a single injection of bovine collagen. Treatment with K1-5 was commenced on the day of arthritis onset and continued for 10 days, until the end of the experiment. Daily intraperitoneal administration of K1-5 (2 mg/kg body weight) significantly reduced both paw swelling and clinical score (a composite index of the number of arthritic limbs and the severity of disease). The clinical efficacy of this treatment was reflected by a reduction in joint inflammation and destruction, as assessed histologically. These data suggest that antiangiogenic therapies, which block formation of new blood vessels and hence reduce synovial expansion, might be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Arthritis Res Ther

Publication Date

2003

Volume

5

Pages

R32 - R39

Keywords

Angiogenesis Inhibitors, Angiostatins, Animals, Arthritis, Collagen, Joints, Kringles, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred DBA, Peptide Fragments, Plasminogen, Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator