Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New research could extend life of arthritic joints

Date:
September 21, 2011
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
A medication already approved to build bone mass in patients with osteoporosis also builds cartilage around joints and could potentially be re-purposed to treat millions of people suffering from arthritis, according to new orthopedic research.

A medication already approved to build bone mass in patients with osteoporosis also builds cartilage around joints and could potentially be re-purposed to treat millions of people suffering from arthritis, according to orthopaedic research at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Related Articles


The study authors hope their laboratory findings, published in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine, will set the stage for the first human clinical trials to test human parathyroid hormone (brand name: Forteo) in this growing patient population.

Since 2005, arthritis has been ranked as the leading cause of disability in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And by 2030 an estimated 67 million people, or 25 percent of the adult population in this country will have osteoarthritis (OA), a painful, degenerative joint disease that often begins with an injury and results in the progressive loss of cartilage. Current treatments for OA do not help improve the cartilage in the diseased joint, they only make the pain more bearable. Examples include oral anti-inflammatory agents (such as Advil or Naproxen), narcotics, or steroid injections into the affected joint. Surgical replacement of the joint and cartilage is usually required, although this major intervention often carries its own set of complications.

"We believe that a potential alternative to this cycle of pain and reduced quality of life has gone unnoticed for the past decade," said study co-author Michael J. Zuscik, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Orthopedics & Rehabilitation, Center for Musculoskeletal Research at URMC. "Given that Forteo is already FDA approved, our experimental findings make a compelling case for further clinical study of this drug in the context of arthritis."

The Food and Drug Administration approved Forteo a decade ago as a bone-building therapy for osteoporosis patients with severe bone loss. Although Zuscik and co-author Randy N. Rosier, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, lead a laboratory that investigates osteoarthritis, through collaborative clinical work their group made an interesting observation: Occasionally, when a patient suffered from both disorders -- osteoporosis and osteoarthritis -- the symptoms of arthritis would improve after taking Forteo for osteoporosis.

This observation led the OA researchers to question whether the drug would have an impact on the molecular pathways that govern chondrocytes, the cells responsible for maintaining cartilage, and the changes that take place during joint degeneration. The team used a mouse model for post-traumatic knee osteoarthritis and demonstrated in several laboratory experiments that when Forteo was given daily for one month, the injured cartilage became as much as 32 percent thicker, cell production was enhanced, and genes and molecules associated with the degeneration of cartilage were suppressed.

The study was designed to mimic a common clinical situation in which injury to the meniscus and collateral ligaments result in the development of osteoarthritis later in life. Since the hallmark problem in osteoarthritis is the progressive and irreversible loss of cartilage, Zuscik said, the ability of parathyroid hormone to add new cartilage while blocking its degradation makes it a viable therapy.

In addition to the laboratory research, Zuscik and Rosier reviewed OA patient information from government databases. Of 4,000 people diagnosed with knee arthritis, they found 14 who were also taking Forteo for osteoporosis. This small group of people reported less arthritis pain and a higher ability to function than a matched population of patients who were not taking Forteo.

Although this data involved a very small number of people and is therefore not conclusive, Rosier said, it does confirm observations made by him and other URMC orthopaedic specialists.

Future studies are still needed to address several important questions. There is some concern, for instance, about the safety of Forteo, which is made by Eli Lilly and Company and carries a black-box warning because it has been found to cause an increased risk of the bone cancer osteosarcoma, in rats. Due to this potential long-term risk in humans, Forteo is prescribed for short-term use up to two years. Thus, researchers will need to determine how long the protective/regenerative effect on cartilage persists after treatment is stopped.

The National Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Foundation funded the research.

The corresponding author is Erik R. Sampson, Ph.D., of the URMC Center for Musculoskeletal Research. Other collaborators from the Center include: Matthew J. Hilton, Ph.D.; Ye Tian, Ph.D.; Di Chen, Ph.D.; Edward M. Schwarz, Ph.D.; Robert A. Mooney, Ph.D.; Susan V. Bukata, M.D.; Hani Awad, Ph.D.; J. Edward Puzas, Ph.D.; and Regis J. O'Keefe, M.D., Ph.D., associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research, and chair of the URMC Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erik R. Sampson, Matthew J. Hilton, Ye Tian, Di Chen, Edward M. Schwarz, Robert A. Mooney, Susan V. Bukata, Regis J. O’Keefe, Hani Awad, J. Edward Puzas, Randy N. Rosier, and Michael J. Zuscik. Teriparatide as a Chondroregenerative Therapy for Injury-Induced Osteoarthritis. Sci Transl Med, 21 September 2011 3:101ra93 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002214

Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "New research could extend life of arthritic joints." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110921142204.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2011, September 21). New research could extend life of arthritic joints. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110921142204.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "New research could extend life of arthritic joints." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110921142204.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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