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IL-12/IL-23p40 identified as a downstream target of apremilast in ex vivo models of arthritis

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  • Tue W Kragstrup
  • Mary Adams, Department of Translational Development, Celgene Corporation, Summit, NJ, USA.
  • ,
  • Søren Lomholt
  • Morten A Nielsen
  • ,
  • Line D Heftdal
  • ,
  • Peter Schafer, Department of Translational Development, Celgene Corporation, Summit, NJ, USA.
  • ,
  • Bent Deleuran

Background: Apremilast (Otezla((R))) is a phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor approved for the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA), but the reason why apremilast shows clinical effect is not fully understood. The objective of this study was to study the downstream effects of apremilast on cells of inflamed joints in immune-mediated inflammatory arthritis. Methods: Synovial fluid was obtained from patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA), PsA or peripheral spondyloarthritis (SpA; n = 18). The in vitro models consisted of synovial fluid mononuclear cells (SFMCs) or fibroblast-like synovial cells (FLSs) cultured for 48 h, SFMCs cultured for 21 days, an osteoclast pit formation assay, and a mineralization assay. Results: In SFMCs cultured for 48 h, apremilast decreased the production of interleukin (IL)-12/IL-23p40 (the shared subunit of IL-12 and IL-23), colony-stimulating factor 1, CD6, and CD40 and increased the production of C-X-C motif chemokine 5 dose-dependently. Apremilast had a very different response signature compared with the tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitor adalimumab with a substantially greater inhibition of IL-12/IL-23p40. In SFMCs cultured for 21 days, apremilast increased the secretion of IL-10. In FLS cultures, apremilast decreased matrix metalloproteinase-3 production. Apremilast decreased osteoclastogenesis but did not affect mineralization by human osteoblasts. Conclusion: This study reveals the downstream effects of apremilast in ex vivo models of arthritis with a strong inhibition of IL-12/IL-23p40 by SFMCs. Our findings could explain some of the efficacy of apremilast seen in IL-12/IL-23-driven immune-mediated inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis and PsA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

    Research areas

  • EXPRESSION, INFLAMMATION, INTERLEUKIN, OPEN-LABEL, OSTEOBLASTS, OSTEOCLAST FORMATION, P38 MAPK, PALACE, PDE4 INHIBITOR, PHOSPHODIESTERASE-4 INHIBITOR, PSORIATIC-ARTHRITIS, apremilast, cyclic adenosine monophosphate, phosphodiesterase 4, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis

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