Article In-vivo Studies Radiobiology Year 2016

Boron neutron capture synovectomy (BNCS) as a potential therapy for rheumatoid arthritis: radiobiological studies at RA-1 Nuclear Reactor in a model of antigen-induced arthritis in rabbits

Radiation and Environmental Biophysics, 2016

Authors:   Verónica Trivillin,Leandro Bruno,David Gatti,Mariela Stur,Marcela Garabalino,Andrea Hughes,Jorge Castillo,Emiliano Pozzi,Luis Wentzeis,Hugo Scolari,Amanda Schwint,Sara Feldman
Journal: Radiation and Environmental Biophysics
Abstract: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune pathology characterized by the proliferation and inflammation of the synovium. Boron neutron capture synovectomy (BNCS), a binary treatment modality that combines the preferential incorporation of boron carriers to target tissue and neutron irradiation, was proposed to treat the pathological synovium in arthritis. In a previous biodistribution study, we showed the incorporation of therapeutically useful boron concentrations to the pathological synovium in a model of antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) in rabbits, employing two boron compounds approved for their use in humans, i.e., decahydrodecaborate (GB-10) and boronophenylalanine (BPA). The aim of the present study was to perform low-dose BNCS studies at the RA-1 Nuclear Reactor in the same model. Neutron irradiation was performed post intra-articular administration of BPA or GB-10 to deliver 2.4 or 3.9 Gy, respectively, to synovium (BNCS-AIA). AIA and healthy animals (no AIA) were used as controls. The animals were followed clinically for 2 months. At that time, biochemical, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histological studies were performed. BNCS-AIA animals did not show any toxic effects, swelling or pain on palpation. In BNCS-AIA, the post-treatment levels of TNF-$alpha$ decreased in four of six rabbits and IFN-$gamma$ levels decreased in five of six rabbits. In all cases, MRI images of the knee joint in BNCS-AIA resembled those of no AIA, with no necrosis or periarticular effusion. Synovial membranes of BNCS-AIA were histologically similar to no AIA. BPA-BNCS and GB-10-BNCS, even at low doses, would be therapeutically useful for the local treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.