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Arthritis research: Mouse model of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis discovered

Date:
December 3, 2012
Source:
University of Western Ontario
Summary:
Researchers have made a breakthrough that could lead to a better understanding of the second most common form of arthritis that, until now, has eluded scientists. Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis or DISH, is a form of degenerative arthritis characterized by the formation of excessive mineral deposits along the sides of the vertebrae in the neck and back, causing severe pain. The researchers have discovered the first-ever mouse model of this disease.

This is a micro-CT image of mouse skeleton, showing excessively mineralized lesions (in red) along the spinal column and sternum (breastbone).
Credit: Western University

Researchers at Western University have made a breakthrough that could lead to a better understanding of a common form of arthritis that, until now, has eluded scientists.

According to The Arthritis Society, the second most common form of arthritis after osteoarthritis is "diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis" or DISH. It affects between six and 12 percent of North Americans, usually people older than 50. DISH is classified as a form of degenerative arthritis and is characterized by the formation of excessive mineral deposits along the sides of the vertebrae in the neck and back. Symptoms of DISH include spine pain and stiffness and in advanced cases, difficulty swallowing and damage to spinal nerves. The cause of DISH is unknown and there are no specific treatments.

Now researchers at Western University's Bone and Joint Initiative, with collaborator Doo-Sup Choi at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota have discovered the first-ever mouse model of this disease. The research is published online in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

"This model will allow us for the first time to uncover the mechanisms underlying DISH and related disorders. Knowledge of these mechanisms will ultimately allow us to test novel pharmacological treatments to reverse or slow the development of DISH in humans," says corresponding author Cheryle Sιguin of the Skeletal Biology Laboratories and the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Graduate student Derek Bone, working under the supervision of pharmacologist James Hammond, was studying mice that had been genetically modified to lack a specific membrane protein that transports adenosine when he noticed that these mice developed abnormal calcification (mineralization) of spinal structures.

Changes in the backbone of these mice were characterized by an interdisciplinary team which included: Sumeeta Warraich, Diana Quinonez, Hisataka Ii, Maria Drangova, David Holdsworth and Jeff Dixon. Their findings established that spinal mineralization in these mice resembles DISH in humans and point to a role for adenosine in causing abnormal mineralization in DISH.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sumeeta Warraich, Derek B. J. Bone, Diana Quinonez, Hisataka Ii, Doo-Sup Choi, David W. Holdsworth, Maria Drangova, S. Jeffrey Dixon, Cheryle A. Sιguin, James R. Hammond. Loss of equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1) in mice leads to progressive ectopic mineralization of spinal tissues resembling diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) in humans. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.1826

Cite This Page:

University of Western Ontario. "Arthritis research: Mouse model of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203150014.htm>.
University of Western Ontario. (2012, December 3). Arthritis research: Mouse model of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203150014.htm
University of Western Ontario. "Arthritis research: Mouse model of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203150014.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

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