Effect of the resection of the sciatic nerve on the Th1/Th2 balance in the synovia of the ankle joint of adjuvant arthritic rats

Zhou Wu, Kazuko Toh, Kengo Nagata, Toshio Kukita, Tadahiko Iijima

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Inflamed synovia of the ankle joint after 2-4 weeks of adjuvant injection receives dense sensory innervation. To study the role of sensory nerves on the local inflammation, the relative expression of T helper 1 and 2 lymphocyte (Th1 and Th2) markers was investigated on both axotomized adjuvant arthritic (AA) rats, whose sciatic nerves were resected before adjuvant injection, and on sham-operated ones. Immunohistochemical expressions of CXC chemokine receptor 3 (CXCR3) and CC chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) were examined and compared with those of Th1 cytokine (interferon-gamma, IFN-gamma), Th2 cytokine (interleukin-4, IL-4), and anti-T cell antibody (W3/25). Double-positive cells for IFN-gamma/CXCR3 and for IL-4/CCR4 were greater than 90% and greater than 95%, respectively. The reciprocal combinations, IL-4/CXCR3 and IFN-gamma/ CCR4, however, yielded less than 10% and less than 5% of double-positive cells. CXCR3 and CCR4 thus appear to be available as markers for Th1/Th2 subsets in the synovia of AA rats. Using these markers, it became clear that the percentage of Th1 cells to total Th cells was higher than that of Th2 cells in axotomized AA rats at weeks 2-4, whereas in sham-operated AA rats, the percentage of Th1 cells to total Th cells was higher than that of Th2 cells at week 2 and the latter exceeded the former at week 4. Our observations strongly suggested the presence of the anti-inflammatory action of sensory nerves in rats with adjuvant arthritis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Histology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Cell Biology

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