Selective Sexual Dimorphisms in Musculoskeletal and Cardiopulmonary Pathologic Manifestations and Mortality Incidence in the Tumor Necrosis Factor-Transgenic Mouse Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To examine and quantify the sexual dimorphism in pathologic features manifested in the musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary systems and incidence of mortality in the tumor necrosis factor-transgenic (TNF-Tg; Tg3647 strain) mouse model of inflammatory erosive arthritis. METHODS: Kaplan-Meier survival estimates were determined in male and female Tg3647 mice and sex-matched wild-type (WT) littermate mice. Longitudinal and cross-sectional pathologic outcomes in the musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary systems were assessed via ultrasound, micro-computed tomography, grip strength measurements, histologic and serologic analyses, flow cytometry, and skeletal muscle physiologic measures. RESULTS: Compared to male Tg3647 mice (n = 30), female Tg3647 mice (n = 34) had significantly shorter lifespans (P < 0.001) and exhibited the following pathologic features (n = 4-6 per group; P < 0.05 versus male Tg3647 littermates): gross deficits in body mass and muscle weight, early-onset inflammatory arthritis with severity of end-stage arthritis that was as severe as that seen in male transgenic mice, and early onset and increased severity of inflammatory interstitial lung disease (ILD). Histologically, the ILD observed in Tg3647 mice was characterized by inflammatory cell accumulation and pulmonary arteriole thickening, which was concomitant with the presence of right ventricular hypertrophy, a feature that was also more severe in the female compared to male Tg3647 mice (P < 0.05). No sexual dimorphisms in TNF-induced deficient grip strength, axial skeletal growth, or bone loss were found. Globally, the extent of the pathologic changes observed in female Tg3647 mice was greater than that observed in male Tg3647 mice when each group was compared to their sex-matched WT littermates. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that TNF selectively drives the early onset of arthritis and progression of pathologic changes in the cardiopulmonary system in female Tg3647 mice. These results in the Tg3647 mouse identify it as a suitable model to better understand the mechanisms underlying sexual dimorphism and cardiopulmonary disease in the setting of inflammatory arthritis and other connective tissue diseases.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bell, RD; Wu, EK; Rudmann, CA; Forney, M; Kaiser, CRW; Wood, RW; Chakkalakal, JV; Paris, ND; Klose, A; Xiao, G-Q; Rangel-Moreno, J; Garcia-Hernandez, ML; Ritchlin, CT; Schwarz, EM; Rahimi, H

Published Date

  • September 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1512 - 1523

PubMed ID

  • 30969024

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6717034

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2326-5205

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/art.40903


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States