Dose-loading with hydroxychloroquine improves the rate of response in early, active rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized, double-blind six-week trial with eighteen-week extension. (1/3077)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the usefulness of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) dose-loading to increase the percentage of responders or rate of response in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: Two hundred twelve patients with early RA (mean duration 1.5 years) were enrolled in a 24-week trial. Patients were stabilized with 1,000 mg naproxen/day and then began a 6-week, double-blind trial comparing treatment with HCQ at 400 mg/day (n = 71), 800 mg/day (n = 71), and 1,200 mg/day (n = 66), followed by 18 weeks of open-label HCQ treatment at 400 mg/day. RESULTS: All patients had mild, active disease at the time of initiation of HCQ treatment (31-43% rheumatoid factor positive; no previous disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs; mean swollen joint count 8.6-10.4). Based on the Paulus criteria, response during the 6-week double-blind portion of the study was 47.97%, 57.7%, and 63.6% in the 400 mg/day, 800 mg/day, and 1,200 mg/day groups, respectively (P = 0.052). Discontinuations for adverse events were dose related (3 in the 400 mg/day group, 5 in the 800 mg/day group, 6 in the 1,200 mg/day group). Most involved the gastrointestinal (GI) system, with the background naproxen treatment possibly contributing. Ocular abnormalities occurred in 17 of 212 patients (8%) but were not dose related. CONCLUSION: Dose-loading with HCQ increased the degree of response at 6 weeks in this group of patients with early, predominantly seronegative RA. Adverse GI events were dose related, while adverse ocular events were not.  (+info)

Inhibition of IL-6 and IL-8 induction from cultured rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts by treatment with aurothioglucose. (2/3077)

Gold compounds have long been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, their actions in RA have not been clarified. In this study, we examined the effect of one of the monovalent gold compounds, aurothioglucose (AuTG), on the IL-1-induced production of IL-6, IL-8 and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) from rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts (RSF) isolated from three RA patients. IL-6 and IL-8 induction but not GM-CSF induction was inhibited in most of the RSF after pretreatment with AuTG. Since gene expression of these cytokines is known to be under the control of a common transcription factor, NF-kappaB, the effect of AuTG on the cellular localization of NF-kappaB (p65 subunit) and on NF-kappaB-DNA binding was examined. Although AuTG treatment did not prevent NF-kappaB nuclear translocation, AuTG blocked the DNA-binding activity of NF-kappaB when examined in vitro. Morphologically, both metal-specific cell staining using p-dimethylaminobenzylidene rhodamine and transmission electron microscopic examinations demonstrated the accumulation of metal gold in the cytoplama and some organella (mitochondria and lysosomes) of the AuTG-treated RSF. These results indicate that one of the anti-rheumatic actions of AuTG might be through its inhibitory action on NF-kappaB.  (+info)

Efficacy of sustained blood levels of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist in animal models of arthritis: comparison of efficacy in animal models with human clinical data. (3/3077)

OBJECTIVE: To determine the role of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) in rat adjuvant arthritis and rat type II collagen-induced arthritis, and to compare the efficacy in rat models with that seen in human clinical trials of IL-1Ra. METHODS: Rats with developing adjuvant arthritis or established collagen-induced arthritis were treated with IL-1Ra by continuous infusion in order to determine and maintain efficacious blood levels of this IL-1 inhibitory protein in the rats for comparison with human clinical data. The effects of treatment in the rats were monitored by sequential caliper measurement of the ankle joints, determination of final paw weights, and histologic evaluation with particular emphasis on bone and cartilage lesions. The effects of IL-1Ra on joint swelling and radiographic bone damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a 6-month trial were compared with the findings in rats. RESULTS: Dramatic differences in the profile of IL-1Ra activity were seen between the 2 groups of rats. Modest antiinflammatory effects were observed in the adjuvant arthritis rats treated with IL-1Ra. However, marked inhibition of bone resorption occurred, even at doses with which antiinflammatory activity was not seen. In contrast, IL-1Ra treatment of rats with established collagen-induced arthritis resulted in nearly complete suppression of all aspects of the disease when adequate blood levels of IL-1Ra were maintained. Treatment of RA patients with IL-1Ra (150 mg daily) resulted in modest inhibition of joint swelling and inhibition of radiographic progression of bone lesions. CONCLUSION: IL-1 appears to be of major importance in mediating the bone resorption that occurs in rat adjuvant arthritis, but is less important in the pathogenesis of periarticular inflammation in this disease. In contrast, IL-1 is of major importance in mediating all aspects of disease progression in rat collagen-induced arthritis. Similar to the response in adjuvant arthritic rats, RA patients treated with IL-1Ra showed only modest antiinflammatory activity, but had evidence of inhibition of progression of bone resorption. However, a comparison of the plasma levels of IL-1Ra in humans and rats suggests that the optimal level of dosing for continuous saturation of IL-1 receptors may not have been achieved in humans, although this was achieved in the rat studies.  (+info)

Effect of its demethylated metabolite on the pharmacokinetics of unchanged TAK-603, a new antirheumatic agent, in rats. (4/3077)

A factor in the dose-dependent pharmacokinetics of ethyl 4-(3, 4-dimethoxyphenyl)-6,7-dimethoxy-2-(1,2, 4-triazol-1-yl-methyl)quinoline-3-carboxylate (TAK-603) in rats was shown to be due to the inhibition of metabolic clearance of unchanged TAK-603 by its major metabolite, M-I, in other words, product inhibition. The effect of M-I on the metabolic clearance of TAK-603 was studied using rats continuously infused i.v. with this metabolite at rates of 5.3 and 16.0 mg/h/kg. The total body clearance of TAK-603 was decreased remarkably in M-I-infused rats, and the decline of total body clearance depended on the steady-state plasma concentrations of M-I. The effect of M-I generated from the dosed parent drug on the plasma concentration-time profile of TAK-603 was investigated using bile-cannulated rats after i.v. injection of 14C-labeled TAK-603 at doses of 1 and 15 mg/kg. Elimination rates of TAK-603 from rat plasma increased in the bile-cannulated rats in which systemic M-I levels were reduced by interrupting its enterohepatic circulation. To express, simultaneously, the relationships between TAK-603 and M-I in plasma concentration-time profiles, a kinetic model based on the product inhibition was developed for the bile-cannulated rats. A good agreement between calculated curves and the observed concentrations of both TAK-603 and M-I was found at 1 and 15 mg/kg, and the calculated curves were drawn using constant parameters for the two dosages. These results show that the product inhibition by M-I is one factor responsible for the dose-dependent pharmacokinetics of TAK-603 in rats.  (+info)

High and low molecular weight DNA cleavage in ovarian granulosa cells: characterization and protease modulation in intact cells and in cell-free nuclear autodigestion assays. (5/3077)

To continue elucidation of the biochemical and molecular pathways involved in the induction of apoptosis in granulosa cells (GC) of ovarian follicles destined for atresia, we characterized the occurrence and protease modulation of high and low molecular weight (MW) DNA fragmentation during rat GC death. Atresia of ovarian follicles, occurring either spontaneously in vivo or induced in vitro, was associated with both high MW and internucleosomal (low MW) DNA cleavage. Incubation of follicles in the presence of a putative irreversible and non-competitive inhibitor of caspase-1 (interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme or ICE), sodium aurothiomalate (SAM), completely prevented internucleosomal, but not high MW, DNA cleavage. As reported previously, morphological features of apoptosis (pyknosis, cellular condensation) and atresia (granulosa cell disorganization, oocyte pseudomaturation) remained detectable in SAM-treated follicles. The potential involvement of proteases in endonuclease activation was further analyzed in cell-free assays using nuclei from both GC (which autodigest their DNA) and HeLa cells (HC, which do not autodigest their DNA unless incubated with extracts prepared from other cell types). Crude cytoplasmic extracts prepared from GC induced both high MW and internucleosomal DNA cleavage in HC nuclei. The induction of low, but not high, MW DNA cleavage in HC nuclei by GC extracts was suppressed by pretreatment of the extracts with SAM or with any one of the serine protease inhibitors, dichloroisocoumarin (DCI), N-tosyl-L-leucylchloromethylketone (TLCK) or N-tosyl-L-phenylchloromethylketone (TPCK). Interestingly, SAM and DCI also prevented cation-induced low MW DNA fragmentation in GC nuclei; however, TLCK and TPCK were without effect. Our results support a role for cytoplasmic and nuclear serine proteases in the activation of the endonuclease(s) responsible for internucleosomal DNA cleavage during apoptosis.  (+info)

Prospective six year follow up of patients withdrawn from a randomised study comparing parenteral gold salt and methotrexate. (6/3077)

OBJECTIVE: To confirm the impression of a better outcome of patients withdrawn from parenteral gold salt therapy compared with those withdrawn from methotrexate. METHODS: Patients with early, active, and erosive RA were randomised for a double blind trial to receive either weekly 15 mg intramuscular methotrexate or 50 mg goldsodiumthiomalate. If the drug had to be withdrawn because of side effects treatment was continued with the other drug in still active disease. Patients with insufficient response were treated with a combination of both drugs. All patients were followed up by an extended clinical and radiographic evaluation. RESULTS: 64 patients each were allocated to methotrexate and gold treatment. After 72 months a complete record was available for 88% of patients. Within the first 36 months 38 patients withdrew from gold treatment (95% because of side effects) and 23 patients withdrew from methotrexate (57% because of side effects). A significant 40% to 70% improvement of all parameters (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C reactive protein, swollen and tender joints, radiological progression) compared with baseline was observed in patients completing their randomised treatment with gold or methotrexate. The same improvement over three years was seen in patients who withdrew from gold treatment, while patients withdrawing from methotrexate experienced a deterioration of their disease. CONCLUSION: Withdrawals represent the majority of patients in long term drug trials. Patients with early RA stopping gold because of side effects show almost the same sustained improvement as patients continuing gold or methotrexate. Patients withdrawn from methotrexate experience a reactivation of their disease.  (+info)

Does sulphasalazine cause drug induced systemic lupus erythematosus? No effect evident in a prospective randomised trial of 200 rheumatoid patients treated with sulphasalazine or auranofin over five years. (7/3077)

BACKGROUND: Sulphasalazine (SSZ) has been reported to cause drug induced systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but diagnosis of this complication in the context of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is difficult. OBJECTIVE: To determine prospectively: (1) if patients become seropositive for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) during prolonged treatment with SSZ without clinical evidence of SLE; (2) if ANA positive patients develop more adverse reactions than ANA negative patients; (3) if drug induced SLE was identified in this cohort. METHODS: 200 patients enrolled in a randomised prospective trial of SSZ and auranofin (AUR) were followed up for five years. Baseline and annual ANA results were collected along with information on drug toxicity and reasons for discontinuation of treatment. RESULTS: Over five years 24 patients stopped taking SSZ and 49 AUR because of side effects. Of the features common to SLE, rash developed in nine SSZ patients and 11 AUR treated patients and mouth ulcers in three and four patients respectively. Six SSZ treated patients and three treated with AUR developed leucopenia, which promptly resolved with drug withdrawal. No adverse event was ascribed to drug induced SLE. Of the 72 SSZ treated patients who were ANA negative or weakly positive at outset, 14 (19%) became strongly ANA positive compared with 11 (14%) of 80 AUR patients. Patients ANA positive at baseline or who became ANA positive were not more likely to develop drug toxicity or to withdraw from treatment than those ANA negative throughout. CONCLUSION: ANA positivity is common in patients with RA, but the presence or development of ANA did not increase the likelihood of withdrawing from treatment. No case of drug induced SLE was seen over five years in this study.  (+info)

In vivo transfer of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist gene in osteoarthritic rabbit knee joints: prevention of osteoarthritis progression. (8/3077)

The goal of this study was to determine the efficacy of local IL-1Ra gene therapy by intra-articular plasmid injections on structural changes in the meniscectomy rabbit model of osteoarthritis. A partial meniscectomy of the right knee was performed on the rabbits through a medial parapatellar incision. The rabbits were then divided into four experimental groups. Group 1 received no treatment. Group 2 received three consecutive intra-articular injections at 24-hour intervals of 0.9% saline containing a lipid, gammaAP-DLRIE/DOPE, and a DNA plasmid, VR1012. Group 3 received three consecutive injections of saline containing 1000 microg of canine IL-1Ra plasmid and lipid. The injections were given starting 4 weeks post-surgery. Rabbits from Group 1 were killed 4 weeks post-surgery, and all other rabbits 8 weeks post-surgery. The severity of macroscopic and microscopic changes on cartilage on the medial and femoral condyles and tibial plateaus and synovium were graded separately. Specimens were also processed for immunohistochemical staining using a rabbit polyclonal antibody against canine IL-1Ra. The level of canine IL-1Ra in synovial fluid was determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The presence of the DNA plasmid in the synovium was tested by polymerase chain reaction. A significant reduction in the width of osteophytes and size of macroscopic lesions (P < 0.04) was observed, and was dependent on the amount of IL-1Ra plasmid injected. A significant reduction was also noted in the severity of histologic cartilage lesions (P < 0.01) in the group that received the highest dosage (1000 microg) of IL-1Ra plasmid. IL-1Ra was detected in synovial fluid by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and by immunohistochemical staining in the synovium and cartilage of rabbits that received injections containing the IL-1Ra plasmid. Polymerase chain reaction analysis of synovial DNA revealed the presence of the cloned cDNA dog IL-1Ra up to 4 weeks after the first intra-articular injection. This study demonstrates that direct in vivo transfer of the IL-1Ra gene into osteoarthritis knee cells using intra-articular injections of a plasmid vector and lipids can significantly reduce the progression of experimental osteoarthritis. This avenue may therefore represent a promising future treatment for osteoarthritis.  (+info)