Anti-neuropilin-1 peptide inhibition of synoviocyte survival, angiogenesis, and experimental arthritis.

Arthritis Rheum. 2010 Jan;62(1):179-90
Authors: Kong JS, Yoo SA, Kim JW, Yang SP, Chae CB, Tarallo V, De Falco S, Ryu SH, Cho CS, Kim WU

OBJECTIVE: To delineate the role of neuropilin-1 (NP-1), a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), in rheumatoid inflammation and to determine whether blockade of NP-1 could suppress synoviocyte survival and angiogenesis. METHODS: VEGF(111-165) peptide, which encompasses the NP-1 binding domain of VEGF(165), was generated by cleaving VEGF(165) with plasmin. The effect of this peptide on the interaction between VEGF(165) and its receptor was determined by (125)I-VEGFR binding assay. Assays to determine synoviocyte apoptosis, adhesion, and migration were performed in the presence of VEGF(165) and/or the peptide. VEGF(165)-induced angiogenesis was assessed by measuring the proliferation, tube formation, and wounding migration of endothelial cells (ECs). Mice were immunized with type II collagen to induce experimental arthritis. RESULTS: VEGF(111-165) peptide specifically inhibited the binding of (125)I-VEGF(165) to NP-1 on rheumatoid synoviocytes and ECs. The peptide eliminated the VEGF(165)-mediated increase in synoviocyte survival and activation of p-ERK and Bcl-2. The peptide also completely inhibited a VEGF(165)-induced increase in synoviocyte adhesion and migration. In addition, the anti-NP-1 peptide blocked VEGF(165)-stimulated proliferation, capillary tube formation, and wounding migration of ECs in vitro. VEGF(165)-induced neovascularization in a Matrigel plug in mice was also blocked by treatment with the peptide. Finally, subcutaneous injection of anti-NP-1 peptide suppressed arthritis severity and autoantibody formation in mice with experimental arthritis and inhibited synoviocyte hyperplasia and angiogenesis in arthritic joints. CONCLUSION: Anti-NP-1 peptide suppressed VEGF(165)-induced increases in synoviocyte survival and angiogenesis, and thereby blocked experimental arthritis. Our findings suggest that anti-NP-1 peptide could be useful in alleviating chronic arthritis.
PMID: 20039409 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]