SAT0016 DEVELOPMENT OF FIBROBLAST-LIKE SYNOVIOCYTE ASSAYS FOR TARGET DISCOVERY IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

D. Ruelas, C. Chen, H. Truong, V. Lira, Y. Moazami, K. Currie, J. A. Di Paolo, H. Yu, G. Min-Oo
2020 Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  
Background:The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovium is characterized by an overabundance of fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS), which play a central role in the initiation and perpetuation of disease via multiple mechanisms.1FLS promote disease progression by producing high levels of proinflammatory factors, migrating to and invading cartilage and bone, and promoting self-proliferation and resistance to apoptosis. Our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern FLS-mediated
more » ... n FLS-mediated pathology in the synovial joint remains incomplete. Importantly, almost 30% of treatment-naïve early RA patients exhibit a strong fibroid phenotype that correlates with relatively poor response to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.2Yet, current therapies in RA are not directly aimed at FLS pathology, creating an opportunity for novel therapeutic target discovery.Objectives:Our aim is to develop a broad suite of screening-amenable assays in RA patient-derived FLS for the discovery of target pathways that control multiple pathological properties, including cytokine secretion, migration, and invasion.Methods:A sensitive high-throughput RA-FLS secretion assay was developed to examine the ability of small-molecule inhibitors to block the production of interleukin (IL)-6 and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 in response to stimuli. To create a physiologically relevant stimulus, a surrogate synovial fluid cocktail (composed of 12 factors) was defined and titrated for optimal concentration selection. Small-molecule inhibitors (N=170) of diverse biological pathways were screened using the full cocktail or individual stimulation (TNFα, IL-1α, or IL-17) to characterize assay performance. In addition, an FLS platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-mediated migration screening assay was developed using a live cell imaging system (IncuCyte) to quantify real-time FLS migration.Results:Due to the variability and limited volume of synovial fluid, we developed a surrogate synovial fluid cocktail to mimic the relevant stimulation of RA-FLS in the inflamed joint. The surrogate cocktail was composed of 12 factors: TNFα, IL-1α, IL-17, IFNγ, OSM, LIF, GM-CSF, IP-10, VEGF, PDGF, AREG, and FGF2. Individual titration of these factors demonstrated that only 3 stimulatory factors (TNFα, IL-1α, and IL-17) resulted in a robust increase of IL-6 production. Importantly, when all 12 factors were combined, a synergistic increase in IL-6 and MMP-3 production by FLS was observed. Screening results identified several reference compounds, including an inhibitor of transforming growth factor-b–activated kinase 1 (TAK1), that was previously reported to block cytokine secretion in FLS.3Treatment with this compound showed complete inhibition of IL-6 and MMP-3 secretion. In addition to the cytokine secretion assay, treatment of FLS with this TAK1 inhibitor resulted in almost complete inhibition of migration (Fig. 1).Conclusion:Novel FLS assays were developed to discover new targets and interrogate pathways involved in multiple disease-driving mechanisms of FLS in RA. In order to mimic the inflammatory environment present in the RA synovium, we developed a 12-factor surrogate synovial fluid cocktail. A synergistic release of both IL-6 and MMP-3 was demonstrated following cocktail stimulation compared to individual cytokines. This points to the important contribution that multiple factors play in the FLS pathogenic processes and will allow us to uncover pathway interactions that may not be captured with single stimuli. In addition, the development of a real-time, 96-well, imaging-based assay to interrogate FLS migration will allow us to identify targets that control this critical pathological function of FLS.References:[1] Bartok B, et al.J Immunol. 2014;192(5):2063-2070.[2] Humby F, et al.Ann Rheum Dis. 2019;78(6):761-772.[3] Jones DS, et al.Nat Chem Bio. 2017;13(1):38-45.Disclosure of Interests:Debbie Ruelas Employee of: Gilead, Chen Chen Employee of: Gilead, Hoa Truong Employee of: Gilead, Victor Lira Employee of: Gilead, Yasamin Moazami Employee of: Gilead, Kevin Currie Employee of: Gilead, Julie A. Di Paolo Employee of: Gilead, Helen Yu Employee of: Gilead, Gundula Min-Oo Employee of: Gilead
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-eular.3752 fatcat:mbouz2tbgvhzzl6zpzfndaazpa