Raloxifene reduces urokinase-type plasminogen activator-dependent proliferation of synoviocytes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis.Arthritis Res Ther. 2005; 7(6):R1244-53.AR
Extracellular fibrinolysis, controlled by the membrane-bound fibrinolytic system, is involved in cartilage damage and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovitis. Estrogen status and metabolism seem to be impaired in RA, and synoviocytes show receptors for estrogens. Our aims in this study were to evaluate in healthy and RA synoviocytes the effects of Raloxifene (RAL), a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), on: proliferation; the components of the fibrinolytic system; and chemoinvasion. The effects of RAL were studied in vitro on synoviocytes from four RA patients and four controls. Proliferation was evaluated as cell number increase, and synoviocytes were treated with 0.5 microM and 1 microM RAL with and without urokinase-plasminogen activator (u-PA) and anti-u-PA/anti-u-PA receptor (u-PAR) antibodies. Fibrinolytic system components (u-PA, u-PAR and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1) were assayed by ELISA with cells treated with 0.5 microM and 1 microM RAL for 48 h. u-PA activity was evaluated by zymography and a direct fibrinolytic assay. U-PAR/cell and its saturation were studied by radioiodination of u-PA and a u-PA binding assay. Chemoinvasion was measured using the Boyden chamber invasion assay. u-PA induced proliferation of RA synoviocytes was blocked by RAL (p < 0.05) and antagonized by antibodies alone. The inhibitory effect of RAL was not additive with u-PA/u-PAR antagonism. RA synoviocytes treated with RAL showed, compared to basal, higher levels of PAI-1 (10.75 +/- 0.26 versus 5.5 +/- 0.1 microg/10(6) cells, respectively; p < 0.01), lower levels of u-PA (1.04 +/- 0.05 versus 3.1 +/- 0.4 ng/10(6) cells, respectively; p < 0.001), and lower levels of u-PAR (11.28 +/- 0.22 versus 23.6 +/- 0.1 ng/10(6) cells, respectively; p < 0.001). RAL also significantly inhibited u-PA-induced migration. Similar effects were also shown, at least partially, in controls. RAL exerts anti-proliferative and anti-invasive effects on synoviocytes, mainly modulating u-PAR and, to a lesser extent, u-PA and PAI-1 levels, and inhibiting cell migration and proliferation.