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OBJECTIVE: In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), destruction of articular cartilage by the inflamed synovium is considered to be driven by increased activities of proteolytic enzymes, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The purpose of this study was to investigate the therapeutic potential of selective inhibition of membrane type 1 MMP (MT1-MMP) and its combination with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockage in mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). METHODS: CIA was induced in DBA/1 mice by immunization with bovine type II collagen. From the onset of clinical arthritis, mice were treated with MT1-MMP selective inhibitory antibody DX-2400 and/or TNFR-Fc fusion protein. Disease progression was monitored daily, and serum, lymph nodes, and affected paws were collected at the end of the study for cytokine and histologic analyses. For in vitro analysis, bone marrow-derived macrophages were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide for 24 hours in the presence of DX-2400 and/or TNFR-Fc to analyze cytokine production and phenotype. RESULTS: DX-2400 treatment significantly reduced cartilage degradation and disease progression in mice with CIA. Importantly, when combined with TNF blockade, DX-2400 acted synergistically, inducing long-term benefit. DX-2400 also inhibited the up-regulation of interleukin-12 (IL-12)/IL-23 p40 via polarization toward an M2 phenotype in bone marrow-derived macrophages. Increased production of IL-17 induced by anti-TNF, which correlated with an incomplete response to anti-TNF, was abrogated by combined treatment with DX-2400 in CIA. CONCLUSION: Targeting MT1-MMP provides a potential strategy for joint protection, and its combination with TNF blockade may be particularly beneficial in RA patients with an inadequate response to anti-TNF therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Arthritis Rheumatol

Publication Date





521 - 531


Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized, Arthritis, Experimental, Cartilage, Articular, Disease Progression, Etanercept, In Vitro Techniques, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-10, Interleukin-12 Subunit p40, Interleukin-17, Lipopolysaccharides, Lymph Nodes, Macrophages, Matrix Metalloproteinase 14, Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors, Mice, Mice, Inbred DBA, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha