Both inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and anti-inflammatory treatment of RA with glucocorticoids (GCs) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) negatively influence bone metabolism and fracture healing. Janus kinase (JAK) inhibition with tofacitinib has been demonstrated to act as a potent anti-inflammatory therapeutic agent in the treatment of RA, but its impact on the fundamental processes of bone regeneration is currently controversially discussed and at least in part elusive. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to examine the effects of tofacitinib on processes of bone healing focusing on recruitment of human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) into the inflammatory microenvironment of the fracture gap, chondrogenesis, osteogenesis and osteoclastogenesis. We performed our analyses under conditions of reduced oxygen availability in order to mimic the in vivo situation of the fracture gap most optimal. We demonstrate that tofacitinib dose-dependently promotes the recruitment of hMSCs under hypoxia but inhibits recruitment of hMSCs under normoxia. With regard to the chondrogenic differentiation of hMSCs, we demonstrate that tofacitinib does not inhibit survival at therapeutically relevant doses of 10-100 nM. Moreover, tofacitinib dose-dependently enhances osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs and reduces osteoclast differentiation and activity. We conclude from our data that tofacitinib may influence bone healing by promotion of hMSC recruitment into the hypoxic microenvironment of the fracture gap but does not interfere with the cartilaginous phase of the soft callus phase of fracture healing process. We assume that tofacitinib may promote bone formation and reduce bone resorption, which could in part explain the positive impact of tofacitinib on bone erosions in RA. Thus, we hypothesize that it will be unnecessary to stop this medication in case of fracture and suggest that positive effects on osteoporosis are likely.
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften::610 Medizin und Gesundheit::610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Impact of Janus Kinase Inhibition with Tofacitinib on Fundamental Processes of Bone Healing
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin