Mechanism of the 24-hour rhythm of tumor necrosis factor-alpha formed by onset of rheumatoid arthritis

Hiromichi Yoshimatsu, Fumiyasu Okazaki, Ichiro Ieiri, Hideto To

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Morning stiffness and plasma cytokine levels in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients exhibit 24-hour variations. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) plays a central role in RA clinical conditions, including the invasion of inflammatory cells, destruction of cartilage, systemic inflammatory response and its levels show a 24-hour rhythm after the onset of RA. In this study, we investigated what cytokines and/or transcriptional factors are involved in the formation of 24-hour variations in TNF-α levels after the onset of RA using MRL/Mpj-Tnfrsf6lpr (MRL/lpr) mice. Method: Blood was drawn at six different times from MRL/lpr mice to measure cytokines, serum amyloid A (SAA), IgG rheumatoid factor (IgG-RF) and corticosterone levels. Cytokine and transcriptional factor levels at the different times were measured in 10-and/or 15-week-old MRL/lpr mice. The promoter activity of TNF-α by lymphotoxins (LTs) was investigated using a dual-luciferase assay. Results: SAA and TNF-α concentrations clearly exhibited 24-hour rhythms with higher levels at the light phase and lower levels at the dark phase after RA crisis. The expression of LT-α and LT-β showed significant 24-hour rhythms in 15-week-old MRL/lpr mice and the phases of LT-α and LT-β levels were antiphase compared with that of TNF-α. AP-1 binding sites were found in LT-α and LT-β promoter regions, and jun mRNA expression corresponded to LT-α and LT-β levels. TNF-α promoter activity was decreased due to the co-transfection of LT-α and LT-β. Conclusion: LT-α and LT-β controls the 24-hour rhythm in TNF-α levels after the onset of RA in order to suppress TNF-α promoter activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-571
Number of pages8
JournalChronobiology International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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