Objectives: (1) To investigate whether inflammatory synovial tissues from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) express endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) and (2) to determine the major cell type(s) that EPCR is associated with and whether EPCR functions to mediate the effects of activated protein C (APC) on these cells.
Methods: EPCR, CD68 and PC/APC in synovial tissues were detected by immunostaining and in situ PCR. Monocytes were isolated from peripheral blood of patients with RA and treated with APC, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and/or EPCR blocking antibody RCR252. Cells and supernatants were collected for RT-PCR, western blotting, enzyme-linked immuosorbent assay and chemotaxis assay.
Results: EPCR was expressed by both OA and RA synovial tissues but was markedly increased in RA synovium. EPCR was colocalised with PC/APC mostly on CD68 positive cells in synovium. In RA monocytes, APC upregulated EPCR expression and reduced monocyte chemoattractant protein-1-induced chemotaxis of monocytes by approximately 50%. APC also completely suppressed LPS-stimulated NF-κB activation and attenuated TNF-α protein by more than 40% in RA monocytes. The inhibitory effects of APC were reversed by RCR252, indicating that EPCR is required.
Conclusions: Our results demonstrate for the first time that EPCR is expressed by synovial tissues, particularly in RA, where it co-localises with PC/APC on monocytes/macrophages. In addition, APC inhibits the migration and activation of RA monocytes via EPCR. These inhibitory effects on RA monocytes suggest that PC pathway may have a beneficial therapeutic effect in RA.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Competing interests: None declared.
- activated protein C
- express endothelial protein C
- monocyte chemoattractant protein
- protein C
- rheumatoid arthritis
- tumour necrosis factor
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.