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Collagen Type II Publication: testing NGFQB vaccine's ability to reduce cachexia and pain in autoimmune arthritis

New publication citing Collagen Type II: A Virus-Like Particle-Based Anti-Nerve Growth Factor Vaccine Reduces Inflammatory Hyperalgesia: Potential Long-Term Therapy for Chronic Pain

Rhon, TA et al. (2011) J Immunol. Feb 1;186(3):1769-80.


NGF is a member of the neurotrophin family expressed in the CNS during embryonic development. It is produced by various peripheral cells including keratinocytes, epithelial cells, muscle cells, and Schwann cells and during inflammation, mast cells and macrophages. NGF is thought to mediate hyperalgesia via its interaction with the high affinity TrK A receptor. In this paper, the authors tested the preclinical efficacy and preliminary safety of the vaccine NGF conjugated to VLPs from the bacteriphage Qbeta (NGFQbeta). 

How Collagen Type II was used in the publication:

Collagen-induced arthritis model

The ability of the NGFQb vaccine to reduce cachexia and pain in autoimmune arthritis was evaluated in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), so-called collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). In this model, RA was induced by intradermal injection of collagen type II (MD Biosciences, St. Paul, MN) in CFA followed by an intradermal injection of collagen type II in IFA 21 d later. The inflammation progresses steadily and culminates in ankylosis and permanent joint destruction accompanied by weight loss. Male DBA/1 mice were immunized three times with 50 mg NGFQb; as a negative control mice were immunized only with Qb. Seven days after the last immunization, RA was induced. The inflammatory process was monitored over 7–9 wk, and clinical scores were assigned to each limb according to the following definitions: 0, normal; 1, mild erythema and/or swelling of digits/paw; 2, erythema and swelling extending over whole paw/joint; and 3, strong swelling and deformation of paw/joint with ankylosis. Hypersensitivity in response to thermal stimulation was determined as described above. All behavioral assessments were done in a blind fashion, meaning that the experimenter did not know the treatment status of the mice under investigation.

Results: Suppression of weight loss in CIA

Animals were immunized and CIA induced as described above. Fig. 5A shows Qband NGFQb-immunized mice developed arthritis of a similar magnitude and over a similar time course. However, a statistically significant difference in average body weight between control and NGFQb-treated mice was observed postonset of disease (Fig. 5B). Control mice failed to gain weight, whereas those treated with NGFQb continued to gain weight during the course of the disease. This result suggests, as observed for anti-NGF mAb-treated rats, mice immunized with NGFQb were similarly protected from cachexia.

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