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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The kappa-opioid agonist, asimadoline, alters cytokine gene expression in adjuvant arthritis.

OBJECTIVE: We have previously found that the kappa-opioid agonist, asimadoline, attenuates adjuvant arthritis in a dose-dependent, antagonist-reversible manner. To elucidate possible mechanisms, we investigated the effects of asimadoline (5 mg/kg/day i.p.) or vehicle on in vivo cytokine expression and T-cell recruitment in adjuvant arthritis. METHODS: Arthritis severity was assessed every 3-4 days for 21 days. Rats were killed on days 0, 13 and 21 post-induction and synovial membrane and inguinal lymph nodes were removed for mRNA extraction. Changes in cytokine mRNA expression were measured using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and densitometry. T cells in joints were quantified by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Asimadoline significantly decreased arthritis severity at day 13, with a concomitant decrease in synovial membrane expression of cytokines interleukin-17 and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) mRNA at day 13, and no change in T cell numbers in the joints of arthritic rats. By contrast, in the inguinal lymph nodes, expression of tumour necrosis factor was increased at day 13 and TGF-beta mRNA was increased throughout. CONCLUSION: An altered balance, therefore, in the pro- and anti-inflammatory effects of TGF-beta by asimadoline might explain its striking anti-arthritic actions.[1]


  1. The kappa-opioid agonist, asimadoline, alters cytokine gene expression in adjuvant arthritis. Bush, K.A., Kirkham, B.W., Walker, J.S. Rheumatology (Oxford, England) (2001) [Pubmed]
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