Combination therapy of aTRPV2 agonist with aTNF inhibitor achieves sustained suppression of disease severity and reduced joint damage

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We aimed to compare a transient receptor potential vanilloid 2 (TRPV2) agonist with a TNF inhibitor, and to test the potential of their combination in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) as a potential future strategy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Following the onset of CIA DBA1/j mice were started on treatment with either vehicle, etanercept (8 mg/kg three times a week), the TRPV2 agonist O1821 (20-30 mg/kg/day), or a combination of both. Mice were scored over a 61-day period. Synovial tissues were obtained for RNA sequencing. Mice on monotherapy with either O1821 or etanercept developed milder clinical disease. The O1821 protection was observed at an earlier time-point than in the etanercept group. The combination therapy group achieved a more robust and sustained reduction in disease severity than either monotherapy group. All treatment groups had reduced scores for synovial inflammation, synovial hyperplasia, and erosive changes, compared with controls, with the combination group achieving the most significant protection. RNA sequencing and pathway analyses of synovial tissues identified pathways and processes regulated by the TRPV2 agonist, such as chemotaxis and cytokine receptor signaling, including IL6R. The combination therapy affected additional pathways not seen in the monotherapy groups. In conclusion, the TRPV2 agonist achieved an overall similar reduction in arthritis severity and histology scores as etanercept, but the combination therapy achieved a more sustained disease control and more pronounced reduction in joint damage, suggesting a potential future option for improving disease control in RA. RNA sequencing analyses identified new pathways regulated by TRPV2, and also by the combination treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-238
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • autoimmunity
  • ion channels
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • rodent models


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