Therapeutic targeting of the G-CSF receptor reduces neutrophil trafficking and joint inflammation in antibody-mediated inflammatory arthritis

Ian K. Campbell, David Leong, Kirsten M. Edwards, Veronika Rayzman, Milica Ng, Gabrielle L. Goldberg, Nicholas J. Wilson, Karen Scalzo-Inguanti, Charley MacKenzie-Kludas, Kate E. Lawlor, Ian P. Wicks, Lorena E. Brown, Adriana Baz Morelli, Con Panousis, Michael Jeffrey Wilson, Andrew D. Nash, Brent S. McKenzie, Arna E. Andrews

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58 Citations (Scopus)


G-CSF is a hemopoietic growth factor that has a role in steady state granulopoiesis, as well as in mature neutrophil activation and function. G-CSF-and G-CSF receptor-deficient mice are profoundly protected in several models of rheumatoid arthritis, and Ab blockade of G-CSF also protects against disease. To further investigate the actions of blocking G-CSF/G-CSF receptor signaling in inflammatory disease, and as a prelude to human studies of the same approach, we developed a neutralizing mAb to the murine G-CSF receptor, which potently antagonizes binding of murine G-CSF and thereby inhibits STAT3 phosphorylation and G-CSF receptor signaling. Anti-G-CSF receptor rapidly halted the progression of established disease in collagen Ab-induced arthritis in mice. Neutrophil accumulation in joints was inhibited, without rendering animals neutropenic, suggesting an effect of G-CSF receptor blockade on neutrophil homing to inflammatory sites. Consistent with this, neutrophils in the blood and arthritic joints of anti-G-CSF receptor-treated mice showed alterations in cell adhesion receptors, with reduced CXCR2 and increased CD62L expression. Furthermore, blocking neutrophil trafficking with anti-G-CSF receptor suppressed local production of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6) and chemokines (KC, MCP-1) known to drive tissue damage. Differential gene expression analysis of joint neutrophils showed a switch away from an inflammatory phenotype following anti-G-CSF receptor therapy in collagen Ab-induced arthritis. Importantly, G-CSF receptor blockade did not adversely affect viral clearance during influenza infection in mice. To our knowledge, we describe for the first time the effect of G-CSF receptor blockade in a therapeutic model of inflammatory joint disease and provide support for pursuing this therapeutic approach in treating neutrophil-associated inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4392-4402
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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