Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by a chronic inflammation of the synovial joints resulting from hyperplasia of synovial fibroblasts and infiltration of lymphocytes, macrophages, and plasma cells, all of which manifest signs of activation. Recent studies have revealed the essential role of osteoclasts in joint destruction in RA. Src family tyrosine kinases are implicated in various intracellular signaling pathways, including mitogenic response to growth factors in fibroblasts, activation of lymphocytes, and osteoclastic bone resorption. Therefore, inhibiting Src activity can be a good therapeutic strategy to prevent joint inflammation and destruction in RA. We constructed an adenovirus vector carrying the csk gene, which negatively regulates Src family tyrosine kinases. Csk overexpression in cultured rheumatoid synoviocytes remarkably suppressed Src kinase activity and reduced their proliferation rate and IL-6 production. Bone-resorbing activity of osteoclasts was strongly inhibited by Csk overexpression. Furthermore, local injection of the virus into rat ankle joints with adjuvant arthritis not only ameliorated inflammation but suppressed bone destruction. In conclusion, adenovirus-mediated direct transfer of the csk gene is useful in repressing bone destruction and inflammatory reactions, suggesting the involvement of Src family tyrosine kinases in arthritic joint breakdown and demonstrating the feasibility of intervention in the kinases for gene therapy in RA.
Hiroshi Takayanagi, Takuo Juji, Tsuyoshi Miyazaki, Hideharu Iizuka, Tokiharu Takahashi, Masashi Isshiki, Masato Okada, Yoshiya Tanaka, Yasuko Koshihara, Hiromi Oda, Takahide Kurokawa, Kozo Nakamura, Sakae Tanaka