Poster Presentation Annual Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia and Society for Reproductive Biology and Australia and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society 2016

The effect of low dose caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) on joint inflammation, bone loss and gastrointestinal inflammation in a collagen antibody-induced arthritis (CAIA) murine model (#347)

Bonnie Williams 1 , Helen Tsangari 1 , Romany Stansborough 1 , Melissa Cantley 1 , Victor Marino 1 , Egon Perilli 2 , Rachel Gibson 1 , Anak Dharmapatni 1 , Tania Crotti 1
  1. University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  2. Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia


Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition resulting in joint destruction and extra-articular morbidities. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an NF-kappa B inhibitor with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.

Aim: To determine the effect of CAPE treatment on histological indicators of joint inflammation, bone loss and gastrointestinal inflammation associated with CAIA.


Balb/c mice were allocated to four groups of n=8; control, CAPE (1mg/kg), CAIA and CAIA+CAPE (1mg/kg). Tissues were harvested after 14 days. Paw sections were stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) and assessed for joint inflammation, cartilage and bone damage. Jejunum and colon tissue was stained with H&E and alcian blue periodic acid-Schiff to assess histopathological damage and goblet cell number, respectively. All analysis was conducted in a blinded fashion.


CAIA and CAIA+CAPE joint tissues exhibited greater cellular infiltration, cartilage and bone degradation and pannus formation scores, however compared to controls these were not statistically significant. A significantly greater number of multinucleated TRAP-positive cells was observed in bone and surrounding soft tissue in the paws of CAIA (p=0.029 and p=0.005) and CAIA+CAPE mice (p=0.003 and p=0.024), compared to control and CAPE only mice. The number of multinucleated TRAP-positive cells did not significantly differ between CAIA and CAIA+CAPE mice. Neither CAPE nor CAIA affected the jejunum toxicity score compared to controls.  CAIA mice significantly increased colon toxicity scores compared to control mice (p=0.023). CAIA+CAPE mice exhibited a reduced toxicity score and reduced percentage of cavitated goblet cells in the colon crypts compared with CAIA mice (p=0.026 and p=0.003, respectively).


CAPE treatment did not reduce joint inflammation or bone loss in CAIA mice. Specific gastrointestinal changes were observed in the colon of CAIA+CAPE mice, however low dose CAPE treatment did not significantly alter the histopathology in the jejunum of CAIA mice.