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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 214683, 8 pages
Research Article

Inhibitory Effect of a Novel Antirheumatic Drug T-614 on the IL-6-Induced RANKL/OPG, IL-17, and MMP-3 Expression in Synovial Fibroblasts from Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Department of Rheumatology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing 210029, China

Received 8 May 2014; Revised 25 October 2014; Accepted 28 October 2014

Academic Editor: James C. C. Wei

Copyright © 2015 Yu Wei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


T-614 (also named as iguratimod), a novel antirheumatic drug, could attenuate joint inflammation and articular damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, providing a new therapy for RA. Here, we tested the role T-614 on the IL-6-induced receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegerin (OPG), IL-17, and MMP-3 expression in synovial fibroblasts from rheumatoid arthritis (RASFs) patients. T-614 decreased RANKL expression and RANKL/OPG ratio in IL-6-induced RASFs. We confirmed this effect by a decrease of the mRNA and protein RANKL and mRNA RANKL/OPG in RASFs exposed in vitro to T-614 or MTX. Markedly decreased levels of IL-17, retinoid-related orphan receptor C (RORc), and MMP-3 mRNA expression were also observed in IL-6-induced RASFs in the presence of T-614 or MTX compared with those in its absence. Furthermore, T-614 blocked expression of p-ERK1/2 protein without affecting ERK1/2 expression, indicating that the way that T-614 regulated RANKL expression might be ERK1/2 pathway. Our results suggest that T-614 yields a strong improvement in arthritis via exact suppression of RANKL/OPG, IL-17, and MMP-3 expression in RASFs.