News Column

Researchers from Free University Describe Findings in Rheumatoid Arthritis

June 18, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Immunotherapy Weekly -- New research on Autoimmune Diseases is the subject of a report. According to news originating from Brussels, Belgium, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "An accurate and noninvasive tracer able to detect molecular events underlying the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) would be useful for RA diagnosis and drug efficacy assessment. A complement receptor of the Ig superfamily (CRIg) is expressed on synovial macrophages of RA patients, making it an interesting target for molecular imaging of RA."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Free University, "We aim to develop a radiotracer for the visualization of CRIg in a mouse model for RA using radiolabeled single-domain variable antibody VHH fragments (Nanobodies). Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to locate CRIg expression in mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). A Nanobody, NbV4m119, was generated to specifically target CRIg. Flow cytometry, phosphorimaging, and confocal microscopy were used to confirm NbVm119 binding to CRIg-positive cells. SPECT (SPECT/CT) was used to image arthritic lesions in the inflamed paws of 29 mice using Tc-99m-NbV4m119 Nanobody. CRIg is constitutively expressed in the liver and was found to be upregulated in synovial tissues of CIA mice. SPECT/CT imaging revealed that Tc-99m-NbV4m119 specifically targeted CRIg-positive liver macrophages in naive wild-type but not in CRIg(-/)-(CRIg knockout) mice. In CIA mice, Tc-99m-NbV4m119 accumulation in arthritic lesions increased according to the severity of the inflammation. In the knees of mice with CIA, Tc-99m-NbV4m119 was found to accumulate even before the onset of macroscopic clinical symptoms. SPECT/CT imaging with Tc-99m-NbV4m119 visualizes joint inflammation in CIA. Furthermore, imaging could predict which mice will develop clinical symptoms during CIA."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Consequently, imaging of joint inflammation with CRIg-specific Nanobodies offers perspectives for clinical applications in RA patients."

For more information on this research see: Molecular Imaging with Macrophage CRIg-Targeting Nanobodies for Early and Preclinical Diagnosis in a Mouse Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 2014;55(5):824-829. Journal of Nuclear Medicine can be contacted at: Soc Nuclear Medicine Inc, 1850 Samuel Morse Dr, Reston, VA 20190-5316, USA (see also Autoimmune Diseases).

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from F. Zheng, Vrije Univ Brussel, VIB Dept. of Struct Biol, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium. Additional authors for this research include S. Put, L. Bouwens, T. Lahoutte, P. Matthys, S. Muyldermans, P. De Baetselier, N. Devoogdt, G. Raes and S. Schoonooghe.

Keywords for this news article include: Europe, Belgium, Brussels, Immunology, Macrophages, Inflammation, Myeloid Cells, Joint Diseases, Nanotechnology, Molecular Imaging, Autoimmune Diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Emerging Technologies, Connective Tissue Cells, Musculoskeletal Diseases, Mononuclear Phagocyte System

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Source: Immunotherapy Weekly

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