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J Korean Rheum Assoc. 2009 Jun;16(2):123-132. Korean. Original Article.
Her YM , Park SH , Park MK , Oh HJ , Kang KY , Cho ML .
The Rheumatism Research Center, Catholic Research Institute of Medical Science, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

OBJECTIVE: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has been shown to be an important pro-inflammatory cytokine in RA. The aim of this study was to determine if the engagement of toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) induces the production of MIF in the fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) of patients with RA. METHODS: The expression of inflammatory cytokines (e.g. MIF, IL-6, IL-1beta and TNFalpha) and toll-like receptors (e.g. TLR2, TLR3 and TLR4) in the synovial tissue were quantified by immunohistochemistry. FLS were isolated from the synovial tissues of patients with RA and stimulated with TLR-3 ligand polyI:C, in the presence of a neutralizing antibody against IL-6. The concentrations of MIF and IL-6 in the culture supernatants from the FLS were measured using sandwich ELISA. RESULTS: The engagement of TLR3 with PolyI:C increased the production of MIF in FLS. The stimulatory effect of these TLR ligands showed a dose-dependent trend. The combination of TLR3 and TLR4 synergistically increased the level of MIF and IL-6 production. The addition of neutralizing antibodies against IL-6 abrogated the stimulatory effect of the ligands of TLR3 and TLR4 on the production of MIF. CONCLUSION: These results show that TLR3 engagement stimulates the production of MIF and IL-6. Therefore, the TLRs help perpetuate of RA pathogenesis through production of MIF from the FLS in patients with RA, and might provide a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

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