Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Arthritic knees, but not hips, have robust repair response

Date:
February 10, 2012
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers used new tools they developed to analyze knees and hips and discovered that osteoarthritic knee joints are in a constant state of repair, while hip joints are not.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center used new tools they developed to analyze knees and hips and discovered that osteoarthritic knee joints are in a constant state of repair, while hip joints are not.

Related Articles


"This suggests the knee has capacity for repair we didn't know about and the main treatment strategy probably would need to focus on turning off the breakdown of knee tissue," said Virginia Kraus, MD, PhD, professor of Rheumatology and Immunology at Duke. "I was hugely surprised to find this."

This suggests that knee and hip osteoarthritis may need different treatment approaches, Kraus said.

Perhaps the natural repair response would be sufficient to lead to a reversal or halting of the disease process in the knee if the joint breakdown could be halted, Kraus said.

"At least with the knee you've got an ongoing repair response that we didn't appreciate until now," Kraus said. "If you could capitalize on that and turn off the degradative (breakdown) processing you might have some good effects."

The findings, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry on Feb. 10, suggest that for hips, however, halting the degenerative process might not be enough. The hips would need a treatment to both stop degeneration as well as stimulate factors that could help to begin repair.

The knee is very accessible for injections, so it would make sense to inject the knee with agents that could turn off the degradative processes, and these could be delivered periodically with close monitoring, Kraus said. "That seems like a very viable strategy."

A number of treatment strategies are being tested in clinical trials to switch off the joint breakdown processes, and Kraus is hopeful that this approach will lead to treatment breakthroughs for osteoarthritis.

A cocktail of drugs might be needed for the hip, however, both to halt the degradation and to stimulate the right type of reparative elements.

"I am speculating that a single agent would work for the knee," Kraus said.

The findings about the knee were shocking to her, because the literature for years had compared the knee and ankle. Scientists knew the ankle was resistant to osteoarthritis, but the knee was very susceptible.

The thinking was that the ankle joint bones fit together well, like a ball in a socket, so the joint cartilage is less likely to degrade, while the knee joint bones fit less well together and require tissue, like the meniscus, to create a better fit -- so knee cartilage is more likely to degrade.

"What we found is startling, because the hip joint also has a ball-in-socket structure yet it degrades and fails to mount a strong repair response," Kraus said. "We think this means that joint congruency alone cannot explain the difference in the repair response of joints, so there is more to learn."

Kraus and her team discovered a biomarker that is a measure of an altered (deaminated) protein, called D-COMP. In the circulation it signals hip degeneration and in cartilage it provides insight into the repair response of joint tissues. Kraus said this is the first biomarker specific to a particular joint site, and may be developed into a monitoring tool for hip-joint breakdown.

The next step is to understand the reasons for the difference between knees and hips and also to use the new tools to analyze the ankle for its level of repair response.

"Why is the ankle less susceptible than the knee to osteoarthritis?" Kraus asked. "Can we develop other tools to be specific indicators of joint health for other joints in the body?"

Other authors include Duke University Medical Center researchers Jonathan B. Catterall, Ming F. Hsueh, Thomas V. Stabler, Christopher R. McCudden, Michael Bolognesi, Robert Zura, and Sheng Feng. Joanne M. Jordan and Jordan B. Renner are from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Association of Schools of Public Health.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. B. Catterall, M. F. Hsueh, T. V. Stabler, C. R. McCudden, M. Bolognesi, R. Zura, J. M. Jordan, J. B. Renner, S. Feng, V. B. Kraus. Protein Modification by Deamidation Indicates Variations in Joint Extracellular Matrix Turnover. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011; 287 (7): 4640 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.249649

Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Arthritic knees, but not hips, have robust repair response." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210110520.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2012, February 10). Arthritic knees, but not hips, have robust repair response. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210110520.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Arthritic knees, but not hips, have robust repair response." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210110520.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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