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Simultaneous activation of the liver X receptors (LXRα and LXRβ) drives murine collagen-induced arthritis disease pathology
  1. Darren L Asquith1,
  2. Ashley M Miller1,
  3. James Reilly1,
  4. Shauna Kerr1,
  5. Paul Welsh2,
  6. Naveed Sattar2,
  7. Iain B McInnes1
  1. 1Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre, Institute of Immunity, Infection and Inflammation, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Darren L Asquith, Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre, Institute of Immunity, Infection and Inflammation, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, 120 University Place, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8TA, UK; darren.asquith{at}


Background It has previously been shown that dual activation of the Liver X Receptors (LXRα and LXRβ) by the agonist, GW3965, enhances pathology in a murine model of collagen-induced arthritis.

Objective To determine whether LXRα or LXRβ have discrete roles in driving articular inflammation.

Methods Arthritis was induced in male C57BL/6 wild-type (WT), LXRα−/−, LXRβ−/− and LXRα/β double KO mice by injection with type II collagen and treated with 30 mg/kg of the LXR agonist GW3965 or vehicle control. The mice were monitored for articular inflammation and cartilage degradation by scoring for clinical signs of arthritis and by histological examination of the joints.

Results Administration of 30 mg/kg GW3965 significantly increases the severity of arthritis in WT but not LXRα−/−, LXRβ−/− or LXRα/β KO mice as assessed by an increase in the clinical score, paw thickness and articular histological analysis.

Conclusion The proinflammatory effects associated with the administration of GW3965 are mediated specifically through LXRs. The absence of increased disease severity in the LXRα−/− and LXRβ−/− GW3965-treated groups shows for the first time that agonism of both LXRα and LXRβ is required to drive proinflammatory pathways in vivo.

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  • Funding AMM is supported by a BHF Intermediate Basic Science Research Fellowship (FS/08/035/25309). This work was financially supported by the Medical Research Council (UK) and Arthritis Research UK.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.