Lymphatic muscle cells contribute to dysfunction of the synovial lymphatic system in inflammatory arthritis in mice

Qianqian Liang, Li Zhang, Hao Xu, Jinlong Li, Yan Chen, Edward M Schwarz, Qi Shi, Yongjun Wang, Lianping Xing
2021 Arthritis Research & Therapy  
Our previous studies reveal that impaired draining function of the synovial lymphatic vessel (LV) contributes to the pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved are not fully understood. To investigate the involvement of lymphatic muscle cells (LMCs) in mediating impaired LV function in inflammatory arthritis. TNF transgenic (TNF-Tg) arthritic mice were used. The structure and function of the LVs that drained the hind limbs were examined by
more » ... unt immunofluorescence staining, electron microscopy, and near-infrared lymphatic imaging. Primary LMCs were treated with TNF, and the changes in proliferation, apoptosis, and functional gene expression were assessed. The roles of the herbal drug, Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS), in arthritis and LVs were studied. TNF-Tg mice developed ankle arthritis with age, which was associated with abnormalities of LVs: (1) dilated capillary LVs with few branch points, (2) mature LVs with reduced LMC coverage and draining function, and (3) degenerative and apoptotic appearance of LMCs. TNF caused LMC apoptosis, reduced expression of muscle functional genes, and promoted the production of nitric oxide (NO) by lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs). PNS attenuated arthritis, restored LMC coverage and draining function of mature LVs, inhibited TNF-mediated NO expression, and reduced LMC apoptosis. The impaired draining function of LVs in TNF-Tg mice involves LMC apoptosis. TNF promotes LMC death directly and indirectly via NO production by LECs. PNS attenuates arthritis, improves LVs, and prevents TNF-induced LMC apoptosis by inhibiting NO production of LECs. LMCs contribute to the dysfunction of synovial LVs in inflammatory arthritis.
doi:10.1186/s13075-021-02438-6 pmid:33602317 fatcat:zvjes52v45hqxogzqvfm6heh6a