Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Potential New Disease-modifying Drug For Osteoarthritis

Date:
August 1, 2007
Source:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Summary:
A new study indicates promise of bone-building calcitonin for protecting post-menopausal women against cartilage degradation and joint destruction. Calcitonin, an amino acid hormone produced by the thyroid gland, has been shown to decrease bone breakdown and increase bone density. Typically prescribed as a nasal spray, it is widely used in the treatment of Paget's disease and osteoporosis.

The world's most common joint disease, osteoarthritis (OA) affects more than 10 percent of American adults, nearly 80 percent of people past age 55, and about three times as many women as men. Treatment has been targeted at controlling the pain that tends to come with the progressive loss of articular cartilage cushioning the joints, disintegration of the underlying bone, and the formation of bone spurs or osteophytes. No drug has been proven to block OA's specific joint-destroying processes.

A new study indicates promise of bone-building calcitonin for protecting post-menopausal women against cartilage degradation and joint destruction. Calcitonin, an amino acid hormone produced by the thyroid gland, has been shown to decrease bone breakdown and increase bone density. Typically prescribed as a nasal spray, it is widely used in the treatment of Paget's disease and osteoporosis.

Whether this drug can also counteract the cartilage damage characteristic of OA remains unknown. Yet, based on the results of a recent study on female rats, featured in the August 2007 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis), oral calcitonin may effectively protect postmenopausal women from the ongoing pain and ultimate disability of joint destruction.

Conducted by a team of researchers in Denmark, this study focused on ovariectomized rats, a model that closely resembles the changes in the human skeletal system during menopause. Key among them is loss of estrogen, which has been associated with accelerated cartilage degradation. Fifty female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided, randomly and equally, into 5 study groups: ovariectomy; ovariectomy, plus 60-day release estrogen pellet inserted; ovariectomy, plus 2.0 mg/kg of salmon calcitonin and 50 mg/kg of 5CNAC, a carrier; ovariectomy, plus 50 mg/kg of 5CNAC; and sham operation. Blood samples were collected from every rat at baseline, on day 3, and after 1, 2, 4, 6, and 9 weeks.

Each rat's body weight was recorded at regular intervals. After 9 weeks, the rats were euthanized. Then, researchers assessed each blood sample for increases in C-telopeptide type II collagen (CTX-II), shown to correlate with degradation of articular cartilage in rats; microscopically examined and blindly scored a section of every rat's knee joint for surface erosions of cartilage; and performed statistical analyses of the data.

Compared with the sham-operated group, all the ovariectomized rats experienced a marked increase in levels of CTX-II for the first 6 weeks, indicating accelerated articular cartilage degradation. During the 9-week trial, estrogen therapy effectively worked to counteract this increase to levels lower than the carrier and non-treated groups, whose levels were not significantly different. However, calcitonin worked better, bringing levels to below those even in the sham-operated group.

Similarly, estrogen and calcitonin both provided significant protection against surface erosions of knee joint cartilage. Again, calcitonin worked better, preventing erosions completely. Of note, the rats that had estrogen therapy gained the least weight of all the ovariectomized rats, effectively easing the erosive toll on the weight-bearing knee joints. Interestingly, calcitonin had no positive impact on body weight, yet protected against the erosions linked to joint destruction in OA.

"Calcitonin treatment may counter the acceleration of cartilage degradation and the related rise of surface erosions," concludes the study's lead author, Bodil-Cecilie Sondergaard, "indicating important chondroprotective properties of this drug which need to be explored in upcoming clinical trials."

Reflecting on the implications of these findings for human OA, Steven B. Abramson, MD, and Stephen Honig, MD, New York University School of Medicine and Hospital for Joint Diseases, raise the question of whether calcitonin's impact on cartilage is strictly preventative, rather than therapeutic, and of potential benefit only in the early stages of the disease.

"However, despite this caveat, the study remains an intriguing one," Dr. Abramson notes, "since it reinforces the possibility that currently available antiresorptive drugs may have DMOAD (disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug) properties." Dr. Honig adds: "The recognition, enhanced by the report of Sondergaard and colleagues, that antiresorptive agents may target abnormalities of both cartilage and bone represents a significant advance in our understanding of the OA disease process and could lead to new disease-modifying treatments in the near future."

Article: "The Effect of Oral Calcitonin on Cartilage Turnover and Surface Erosion in an Ovariectomized Rat Model," Bodil-Cecilie Sondergaard, Svetlana Oestergaard, Claus Christiansen, Laszlσ B. Tankσ, and Morten Asser Karsdal, Arthritis & Rheumatism, August 2007; (DOI: 10.1002/art.22797).

Editorial: "Antiresorptive Agents and Osteoarthritis: More Than a Bone to Pick"," Steven B. Abramson and Stephen Honig, Arthritis & Rheumatism, August 2007; (DOI: 10.1002/art.22796).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "A Potential New Disease-modifying Drug For Osteoarthritis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070730092440.htm>.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. (2007, August 1). A Potential New Disease-modifying Drug For Osteoarthritis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070730092440.htm
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "A Potential New Disease-modifying Drug For Osteoarthritis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070730092440.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) — As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
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