Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease accompanied with joint destruction that often leads to disability. Wang-Bi capsule (WB), a traditional Chinese medicine-based herbs formula, has exhibited inhibition effect on joint destruction of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) animal model in our previous study. But its molecular mechanisms are still obscure.
Methods: CIA rats were treated intragastrical with WB for eight weeks, and the effect of joints protection were evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, safranin O fast green staining, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining and micro‑CT scanning analysis. The transcriptomic of tarsal joints were used to investigate how WB alleviated joint destruction.
Results: The histological examination of ankle joints showed WB alleviated both cartilage damage and bone destruction of CIA rats. This protective effect on joints were further evidenced by micro-CT analysis. The transcriptomic analysis showed that WB prominently changed 12 KEGG signaling pathways (“calcium signaling pathway”, “cAMP signaling pathway”, “cell adhesion molecules”, “chemokine signaling pathway”, “complement and coagulation cascades”, “MAPK signaling pathway”, “NF-kappa B signaling pathway”, “osteoclast differentiation”, “PI3K-Akt signaling pathway”, “focal adhesion”, “Gap junction” and “Rap1 signaling pathway”) associated with bone or cartilage. Several genes (including Il6, Tnfsf11, Ffar2, Plg, Tnfrsf11b, Fgf4, Fpr1, Siglec1, Vegfd, Cldn1, Cxcl13, Chad, Arrb2, Fgf9, Egfr) regulating bone resorption, bone formation and cartilage development were identified by further analysis. Meanwhile, these differentially expressed genes were validated by real-time quantitative PCR.
Conclusions: Overall, the protective effect of WB treatment on joint were confirmed in CIA rats, and its basic molecular mechanisms may be associated with regulating some genes (including Il6, Tnfsf11, Ffar2 and Plg etc.) involved in bone resorption, bone formation and cartilage development.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine
- Joint destruction
- Molecular mechanism
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Wang-Bi capsule