G protein-coupled receptor kinase 5 (GRK5) regulates inflammatory responses via the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway. This study investigated the functional involvement of GRK5 in the pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis. Immunohistochemically, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovium had a significantly higher proportion of GRK5-positive cells in the synovial lining layer than healthy control synovium. Gene expression and NF-κB activation in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated human SW982 synovial cells were significantly suppressed by silencing of the GRK5 gene. Similarly, GRK5 kinase activity inhibition in human primary RA synovial cells attenuated gene expressions of inflammatory factors. In a murine model of collagen antibody-induced arthritis, arthritis scores and serum IL6 production of GRK5 knockout (GRK5-/-) mice were significantly lower than those of wild-type mice. Histologically, the degree of synovitis and cartilage degeneration in GRK5-/- mice was significantly lower than in wild-type mice. In in vitro analyses using activated murine macrophages and fibroblast-like synoviocytes, gene expression of inflammatory factors and p65 nuclear translocation were significantly lower in GRK5-/- mice compared to wild-type mice. In conclusion, our results suggested that GRK5 is deeply involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis, therefore, GRK5 inhibition could be a potential therapeutic target for types of inflammatory arthritis such as RA.
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