2011 Volume 20 Issue 1 Pages 53-58
Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory joint disorder, whose progression leads to the destruction of cartilage and bone. Chemokines and their receptors are potential therapeutic targets in RA. Among these, it has been suggested that CXC chemokine 4 (CXCR4) and its ligand CXC ligand 12 (CXCL12) are involved in RA pathogenesis. Low-level laser irradiation (LLLI) is currently being evaluated for the treatment of RA; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying its effectiveness remain unclear.
Aim: To understand the anti-inflammatory effect of LLLI, we used the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rat as RA model and analyzed the gene expression profile in synovial membrane in the hindpaw joints of control, CIA and CIA + LLLI. Expression of CXCR4 and CXCL12 genes were also studied.
Materials and Methods: Total RNA was isolated from the synovial membrane tissue of CIA rat joints or CIA joints treated with LLLI (830 nm Ga-Al-As diode), and gene expression profiles were analyzed by DNA microarray (41,000 rat genes). The mRNA levels were confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real-time PCR. Immunohistochemical examination to examine CXCR4 protein expression was also carried out.
Results: DNA microarray analysis showed that CXCR4 gene expression was increased in CIA tissue and LLLI treatment significantly decreased CIA-induced CXCR4 mRNA levels. In contrast, CXCL12 did not show any significant changes. The microarray data of CXCR4 mRNA levels were further validated using RT-PCR and real-time PCR. Increased CXCR4 mRNA levels by CIA and its reduction following LLLI was successfully confirmed. CXCR4 production was increased in CIA joints and its production was decreased by LLLI.
Conclusion: Decreased CXCR4 expression may be one of the mechanisms in LLLI-mediated reduction of RA inflammation.