Prevention of Arthritis by Locally Synthesized Recombinant Antibody Neutralizing Complement Component C5

Paolo Durigutto, Paolo Macor, Federica Ziller, Luca De Maso, Fabio Fischetti, Roberto Marzari, Daniele Sblattero, Francesco Tedesco

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Treatment of patients suffering from chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis with recombinant antibodies is time consuming and fairly expensive and can be associated with side effects due to generalized depletion of the target molecule. We have addressed these issues by developing an alternative approach consisting of the intraarticular injection of a DNA vector encoding for the anti-C5 neutralizing recombinant miniantibody MB12/22. This method allows local production of the antibody in sufficient amount to be effective in preventing joint inflammation in a rat model of antigen-induced arthritis. Injection of the DNA vector in a right knee of normal rats resulted in the production of the minibody detected in the synovial washes by western blot with a strong signal peaking at 3 days after administration. DNA encoding for the minibody was shown for 14 days in the synovial tissue and was undetectable in the controlateral knee and in other organs. The preventive effect of this approach was evaluated in rats receiving a single injection of the vector 3 days before the induction of antigen-induced arthritis and analyzed 3 days later. The treated rats exhibited a lower increase in swelling, associated with a lower number of PMN in the articular washes and reduced deposition of C9 in synovial tissue compared to control rats. These results suggest that treating the inflamed joints with a vector that induces a local production of a neutralizing anti-C5 antibody may represent a useful strategy to inhibit in situ complement activation and to treat patients with monoarthritis. Moreover, this approach may be adopted as a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent monoarthritis as an alternative to local treatment with antibodies commonly used in this form of arthritis, with the advantages of the lower cost and the longer persistence of antibody production.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere58696
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 7 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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