Background Ankylosing spondylitis is a male-predominant disease, and the male gender is also associated with more severe radiographic damage. Estrogen modulates immune-related processes such as T cell differentiation and cytokine production.
Objectives This study aimed to evaluate the role of estrogen in the disease activity of spondyloarthritis (SpA). The effect of estrogen on the inflammatory cytokines was evaluated.
Methods The effects of estrogen on the development of arthritis were evaluated by performing an ovariectomy and E2 pellet implantation in the zymosan-treated SKG mouse. Clinical arthritis scores were measured and PET-CT was performed to quantify joint inflammation. Total RNA was extracted from the hindpaws and forepaws and the expression of TNFα, IL-6, IFNγ, IL-4, IL-17A, IL-23, Dkk1, and SOST was measured by QuantiGene 2.0 plex assay.
Results Zymosan exposure triggered SpA-like diseases in SKG mice, including peripheral arthritis, spondylitis, dactylitis, enteritis, and psoriatic skin lesions. E2-treated mice showed remarkable suppression of arthritis clinically and little infiltration of inflammatory cells in the Achilles tendon and intervertebral disc. 18F-FDG uptake was significantly lower in the E2-treated mice. The expression of TNFα, IFNγ, IL-17A, Dkk1, and SOST was significantly reduced in E2-treated mice compared with sham and ovariectomized mice.
Conclusions Estrogen suppressed arthritis development in SpA model of SKG mouse. Results of the study suggest that estrogen may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the disease activity of SpA.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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