Roles of adipocytes and fibroblasts in activation of the alternative pathway of complement in inflammatory arthritis in mice.

J Immunol. 2013 Jun 15;190(12):6423-33.

Arend WP, Mehta G, Antonioli AH, Takahashi M, Takahashi K, Stahl GL, Holers VM, Banda NK.

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.



The complement system is involved in mediation of joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis, with evidence suggesting activation of both the classical and alternative pathway (AP). The AP is both necessary and sufficient to mediate collagen Ab-induced arthritis, an experimental animal model of immune complex-induced joint disease. The AP in mice is dependent on MASP-1/3 cleavage of pro-factor D (pro-FD) into mature factor D (FD). The objectives of the current study were to determine the cells synthesizing MASP-1/3 and pro-FD in synovial tissue. Collagen Ab-induced arthritis was studied in wild-type C57BL/6 mice, and the localization of mRNA and protein for FD and MASP-1/3 in synovial adipose tissue (SAT) and fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) was determined using various techniques, including laser capture microdissection. SAT was the sole source of mRNA for pro-FD. Cultured differentiated 3T3 adipocytes, a surrogate for SAT, produced pro-FD but no mature FD. FLS were the main source of MASP-1/3 mRNA and protein. Using cartilage microparticles (CMPs) coated with anti-collagen mAb and serum from MASP-1/3(-/-) mice as a source of factor B, pro-FD in 3T3 supernatants was cleaved into mature FD by MASP-1/3 in FLS supernatants. The mature FD was eluted from the CMP, and was not present in the supernatants from the incubation with CMP, indicating that cleavage of pro-FD into mature FD by MASP-1 occurred on the CMP. These results demonstrate that pathogenic activation of the AP can occur in the joint through immune complexes adherent to cartilage and the local production of necessary AP proteins by adipocytes and FLS.

PMID: 23650618

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