Despite recent advances in understanding chronic inflammation remission, global analyses have not been explored to systematically discover genes or pathways underlying the resolution dynamics of chronic inflammatory diseases. Here, we performed time-course gene expression profiling of mouse synovial tissues along progression and resolution of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and identified genes associated with inflammation resolution. Through network analysis of these genes, we predicted three key secretory factors responsible for the resolution of CIA: Itgb1, Rps3, and Ywhaz. These factors were predominantly expressed by regulatory T cells and anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages, suppressing production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In particular, Ywhaz was elevated in the sera of mice with arthritis resolution and in the urine of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with good therapeutic responses. Moreover, adenovirus-mediated transfer of the Ywhaz gene to the affected joints substantially inhibited arthritis progression in mice with CIA and suppressed expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in joint tissues, lymph nodes, and spleens, suggesting Ywhaz as an excellent target for RA therapy. Therefore, our comprehensive analysis of dynamic synovial transcriptomes provides previously unidentified anti-arthritic genes, Itgb1, Rps3, and Ywhaz, which can serve as molecular markers to predict disease remission, as well as therapeutic targets for chronic inflammatory arthritis.
Key Words: Rheumatoid arthritis, Transcriptomes, Resolution dynamics, Pro-resolving genes