Relationship between inflammation, bone destruction, and osteoproliferation in the HLA-B27/human β2-microglobulin-transgenic rat model of spondylarthritis

Leonie M. Van Duivenvoorde, Martha L. Dorris, Nimman Satumtira, Melissa N. Van Tok, Kurt Redlich, Paul P. Tak, Joel D. Taurog, Dominique L. Baeten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Objective. Inhibition of inflammation and destruction, but not of osteoproliferation, in patients with spondylarthritis (SpA) treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor raises the question of how these three processes are interrelated. This study was undertaken to analyze this relationship in a rat model of SpA. Methods. Histologic spine and joint samples from HLA-B27/human β2-microglobulin (hβ2m)-transgenic rats were analyzed for signs of spondylitis and destructive arthritis and semiquantitatively scored as showing mild, moderate, or severe inflammation. Results. In rats exhibiting spondylitis, mildly inflamed sections displayed lymphocyte infiltration in connective tissue adjacent to the junction of the anulus fibrosus and vertebral bone but not at the enthesis. Moderately inflamed tissue samples contained osteoclasts eroding bone outside the cartilage end plate. In sections from rats with severe inflammation, the cartilage end plate and underlying bone marrow were also affected. End-stage disease was characterized by complete destruction of the intervertebral disc and vertebrae, with ongoing infiltration. Osteoproliferation was not observed in samples from rats with no or mild inflammation, but was present at the edge of the vertebrae in sections with moderate inflammation and persisted during severe inflammation and end-stage destruction. Osteoproliferation occurred at the border of inflammation, at a distance from bone destruction. A strong correlation between the extent of inflammation, destruction, and osteoproliferation was observed. Sections from rats with arthritis displayed a similar pattern of synovial inflammation associated with bone destruction, and simultaneous but topographically distinct osteoproliferation starting from the periosteum. Conclusion. SpA in B27/hβ2m-transgenic rats is characterized by destructive inflammatory pannus tissue rather than by enthesitis or osteitis. Destruction and osteoproliferation occur simultaneously but at distinct sites in joints with moderate to severe inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3210-3219
Number of pages10
JournalArthritis and rheumatism
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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