Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel Therapeutic Target Identified In Fight Against Rheumatoid Arthritis

Date:
September 17, 2003
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
A team of scientists, led by Toshihiro Nakajima at the St Marianna University School of Medicine in Japan, has identified an exciting therapeutic target that may lead to the development of new treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

A team of scientists, led by Toshihiro Nakajima at the St Marianna University School of Medicine in Japan, has identified an exciting therapeutic target that may lead to the development of new treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

As published in the latest edition of Genes and Development, the scientists report the discovery of 'synoviolin', an enzyme that is found in abnormally high levels in diseased joints. High levels of synoviolin are found to cause an overgrowth of joint-destroying synovial cells, a key clinical feature of RA. By reducing levels of synoviolin, scientists hope to halt the proliferation of synovial cells and the devastating progression of RA.

RA is one of the most common joint diseases, affecting approximately 0.5-1.0% of the adult population worldwide. The progressive joint destruction, which mainly targets the small joints of the hands and feet, eventually results in severe movement disability. The clinical features of RA include chronic inflammation of the synovium, or lining of the joint, accompanied by the overgrowth of synovial cells, a condition known as synovial hyperplasia. This mass of synovial cells, or 'pannus', eventually invades and destroys the cartilage and bone within the joint. Clearly, understanding the factors that regulate synovial hyperplasia are key to designing new therapies to treat RA.

Dr Nakajima and colleagues set out to identify proteins found in synovial cells from rheumatoid joints, with the hope of discovering novel pathogenic factors involved in RA. Using an antibody screening approach, the scientists identified synoviolin as an enzyme that is upregulated in synovial tissues from RA patients. To elucidate the function of synoviolin, the team engineered mice that produced an excess of synoviolin. Significantly, these mice developed spontaneous arthritic joint disease, suggesting that too much synoviolin is indeed an important factor in the development of RA. They also generated mice with half the normal amount of synoviolin. When these mice were treated with a protocol that induces arthritis in normal mice, the 'low-synoviolin' mice were protected from the arthritis. This result firmly identified synoviolin as a key player in RA pathology.

The scientists went on uncover the cellular mechanism by which altered levels of synoviolin could influence joint pathology. By careful analysis of the engineered mice, they showed that synovial hyperplasia was prevented in the low-synoviolin mice because of increased synovial cell suicide or 'apoptosis'. Apoptosis is a vital protective mechanism against the overproduction of diseased or unwanted cells. On the other hand, synovial cell apoptosis was significantly impaired in mice overexpressing synoviolin, promoting synovial hypoplasia and ultimately, joint disease.

This research demonstrates the significance of synoviolin in regulating synovial hyperplasia and ultimately joint destruction in RA. It offers new insights into the etiology of RA and a novel target for innovative RA therapies. Future research will undoubtedly be focused on designing reagents to reduce the amount or inhibit the activity of synoviolin in diseased joints.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Novel Therapeutic Target Identified In Fight Against Rheumatoid Arthritis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030917072159.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2003, September 17). Novel Therapeutic Target Identified In Fight Against Rheumatoid Arthritis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030917072159.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Novel Therapeutic Target Identified In Fight Against Rheumatoid Arthritis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030917072159.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 12, 2014) Hundreds of children in several states have been stricken by a serious respiratory illness that is spreading across the U.S. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 12, 2014) The World Health Organisation warns that local health workers in West Africa can't keep up with Ebola - and among those countries hardest hit by the outbreak, the economic damage is coming into focus, too. As David Pollard reports, Sierra Leone admits that growth in one of the poorest economies in the region is taking a beating. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins