Effect of Apeaz® on Mouse Arthritis Model

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease of unknown etiology, characterized by chronic inflammation in the joints and subsequent destruction of the cartilage and bone. OTC NSAIDs are only approved for temporary pain relief and do not qualify as Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Apeaz® is an OTC cream approved for temporary relief of pain resulting from arthritis. The main ingredient in Apeaz® is methyl salicylate as anti-inflammatory with glucosamine sulfate, menthol, camphor and methyl sulfonyl ethane as inactive excipients. Because Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) is a murine experimental disease model sharing a number of clinical, histological and immunologic features with RA, we used it to study the effect of topically applied Apeaz® , once a day, on the pathogenesis of arthritis. The results show that treatment with Apeaz® has great benefit at the clinical and pathological levels, as the therapeutic effect of Apeaz® was associated with the downregulation of both inflammatory and autoimmune components of the disease. Treatment with Apeaz® completely abrogated joint swelling and destruction of cartilage and bone as demonstrated by histopathology and X-ray analysis of joints. In addition, Apeaz® reduced the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the joints of arthritic mice. Our data suggest that Apeaz® could be a viable candidate as a DMARD for RA.