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Expression of the genes facilitating methotrexate action within subcutaneous rheumatoid nodules

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

  1. Leukocyte and Inflammation Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  2. Leukocyte and Inflammation Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  3. Leukocyte and Inflammation Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  4. Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  5. Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand.
  6. Leukocyte and Inflammation Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. paul.hessian@otago.ac.nz

CER10116 Submission on line
2017 Vol.35, N°6 - PI 0943, PF 0947
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Rheumatology Article

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
We sought further understanding of the association between methotrexate (MTX) therapy and accelerated development of subcutaneous rheumatoid nodules. The objective was to establish expression of genes involved in the transport, metabolism, and mechanism of action of MTX within nodule tissue. We also examined for differences in gene expression between nodules from patients actively receiving MTX compared to those not receiving MTX.
METHODS:
Subcutaneous nodule tissues (n=23) were obtained from 21 patients with RA, undergoing elective surgery. Expression of genes important to the transport (SLC19A1, ABCB1, ABCC1, ABCG2), metabolism (FPGS, GGH), and mechanism of action (TYMS, MTR, MTRR) of MTX, including for the adenosine receptors ADORA1, ADORA2A, ADORA2B, ADORA3 and ADORA3variant were quantitated by real-time PCR in each nodule sample.
RESULTS:
Transcripts for all genes were found in all nodules. Expression of MTR was significantly reduced in nodules from patients receiving MTX therapy. Patterns of gene expression differed, with those metabolising MTX more prominent in nodules from patients receiving MTX when compared to nodules from those not receiving MTX, where genes involved in MTX transport were more prominent.
CONCLUSIONS:
Genes involved in MTX handling are expressed in rheumatoid nodules, providing further evidence that metabolism of MTX within nodules could exert a local effect. Furthermore the profile of gene expression in nodules differed from that previously observed in rheumatoid synovial membrane. The significant reduction of MTR expression in nodules has implications for MTR- and MTRR-mediated re-methylation reactions. Our data suggest that in contrast to synovium, downstream methylation reactions involving methionine and the biosynthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) could be reduced in nodule tissue. This could help explain differing responses to MTX in rheumatoid nodules and synovium and warrants further investigation.

PMID: 28598776 [PubMed]

Received: 23/11/2016 - Accepted : 28/03/2017 - In Press: 06/06/2017 - Published: 11/12/2017