Objectives: Cathepsin K is expressed by osteoclasts and synovial fibroblasts and degrades key components of bone and cartilage. Inhibition of cathepsin K protease activity may be beneficial for the prevention of bone erosion and cartilage degradation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rat model is well established for studying the pathology and treatment of RA. We investigated the effect of ONO-KK1-300-01, a cathepsin K inhibitor (CKI), on arthritis and bone mineral density (BMD) in rats with CIA. Methods: Seven-month-old female Sprague Dawley rats were divided into 5 groups: rats without CIA (CNT); CIA rats that underwent ovariectomy (OVX) and were treated with CKI; CIA rats that underwent OVX and were treated with vehicle (Veh); CIA rats that underwent sham surgery and were treated with CKI; and CIA rats that underwent sham surgery and were treated with Veh. CKI was orally administered at a dose of 15 mg/kg, thus initiating collagen sensitization, until death at 4 weeks. We evaluated hind paw thickness and the arthritis score every week until death. Radiographs of the resected left foot were obtained with a soft X-ray apparatus. Destruction of bone and cartilage was classified and scored as previously described by Engelhardt et al. BMD was measured by bone densitometry at the halfway point between the distal metaphysis and the diaphysis of the resected right femur. We also performed histomorphometry of the proximal left tibia, histological evaluation of arthritis, and a bone strength test. Results: CKI administration significantly reduced hind paw thickness and the arthritis score, and prevented a decrease in BMD. The radiographic score was significantly lower in the CKI group than in the Veh group. In the histomorphometric analysis, bone-resorption parameters were significantly lower in the CKI groups than in the Veh groups. CKI significantly inhibited synovial proliferation in the CIA rats. In the bone strength test, the ultimate stress was significantly higher in the CKI groups than in the Veh groups. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that cathepsin K inhibitors may inhibit systemic and local bone loss, ameliorate arthritis, and attenuate the decrease of bone strength in an animal model of arthritis.
- Bone marrow density
- Cathepsin K inhibitor
- CIA rat
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine