The anti-allergic compound tranilast attenuates inflammation and inhibits bone destruction in collagen-induced arthritis in mice.

Br J Pharmacol. 2010 Feb 1;159(3):626-35
Authors: Shiota N, Kovanen PT, Eklund KK, Shibata N, Shimoura K, Niibayashi T, Shimbori C, Okunishi H

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Recent findings suggest the importance of mast cells in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and their potential as a therapeutic target. Tranilast is an anti-allergic compound with a potent membrane-stabilizing effect on mast cells and a wide range of anti-inflammatory effects, thus may be advantageous in the treatment of arthritis. Here, we have evaluated the effects of tranilast on the progression of collagen-induced arthritis in mice. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Tranilast (400 mg.kg(-1).day(-1)) was orally administered for 8 weeks to mice with established collagen-induced arthritis. Arthritis was assessed by clinical signs and X-ray scores. In paw tissue, the numbers of mast cells and osteoclasts were measured by histological analysis, and several inflammatory factors were assessed by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis.* KEY RESULTS: TNF-alpha-positive mast cells were present extensively throughout the inflamed synovium of vehicle-treated arthritic mice, with some mast cells in close proximity to osteoclasts in areas of marked bone and cartilage destruction. Tranilast significantly reduced clinical and X-ray scores of arthritis and decreased numbers of TNF-alpha-positive mast cells and mRNA levels of TNF-alpha, chymase (mouse mast cell protease 4), tryptase (mouse mast cell protease 6), stem cell factor, interleukin-6, cathepsin-K, receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB, and of receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB-ligand, but increased interleukin-10 mRNA level in paws of arthritic mice. Osteoclast numbers were decreased by treatment with tranilast. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Tranilast possesses significant anti-rheumatic efficacy and, probably, this therapeutic effect is partly mediated by inhibition of mast cell activation and osteoclastogenesis.
PMID: 20067475 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]