Indexed on: 03 Sep '11Published on: 03 Sep '11Published in: Cytokine
Interleukin (IL)-17, a proinflammatory cytokine, is produced primarily by activated Th17 cells. IL-17 consists of six ligands that signal through five receptors (IL-17Rs); IL-17A and IL-17F share the highest homology in the family. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) degrade the extracellular matrix during cartilage remodeling whereas tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) inhibit the action of MMPs. In the present study, we examined the effect of IL-17F on the degradation and synthesis of the extracellular matrix in cartilage using human articular chondrocytes. We examined the effect of IL-17F on the expression of IL-17Rs, MMPs, TIMPs, type II collagen, aggrecan, link protein, and cyclooxygenases (COXs), as well as on prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production. We also examined the indirect effect of PGE2 on the above IL-17F-induced/reduced components using NS-398, a specific inhibitor of COX-2. Cells were cultured with or without IL-17F in the presence or absence of either an IL-17R antibody or NS-398 for up to 28 days. Expression of IL-17Rs, MMPs, TIMPs, type II collagen, aggrecan, link protein, and COXs at mRNA and protein levels was determined using real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. PGE2 production was determined by ELISA. The expression of all types of IL-17Rs was detected in chondrocytes. However, IL-17RE expression was extremely low, compared with other IL-17Rs. The expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-13, and COX-2 as well as PGE2 production were increased by addition of IL-17F, whereas the expression of IL-17RD, TIMP-2, TIMP-4, type II collagen, aggrecan, link protein, and COX-1 was decreased. The expression of IL-17RA, IL-17RB, IL-17RC, MMP-2, MMP-14, TIMP-1, and TIMP-3 was unaffected by addition of IL-17F. The IL-17R antibody blocked the stimulating/reducing effect of IL-17F on the expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-13, TIMP-2, TIMP-4, type II collagen, aggrecan, and link protein. NS-398 blocked the reducing effect of IL-17F on aggrecan expression, whereas it did not completely block the stimulating/reducing effects of IL-17F on the expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-13, TIMP-2, TIMP-4, type II collagen, and link protein. Our results suggest that IL-17F stimulates cartilage degradation by increasing the expression of collagenases (MMP-1 and -13) and stromelysin-1 (MMP-3) and by decreasing expression of their inhibitors (TIMP-2 and -4), type II collagen, aggrecan, and link protein in chondrocytes. Furthermore, our results suggest that the expression of aggrecan, link protein, and TIMP-4 decrease through the autocrine action of PGE2 in chondrocytes.