Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery shows fat triggers rheumatoid arthritis: Paves way for new gene therapies

Date:
May 8, 2013
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
Scientists have discovered that fat cells in the knee secrete a protein linked to arthritis, a finding that paves the way for new gene therapies that could offer relief and mobility to millions of people worldwide.

Scientists have discovered that fat cells in the knee secrete a protein linked to arthritis, a finding that paves the way for new gene therapies that could offer relief and mobility to millions worldwide.

"We found that fat in the knee joints secretes a protein called pro-factor D which gives rise to another protein known as factor D that is linked to arthritis," said Nirmal Banda, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "Without factor D, mice cannot get rheumatoid arthritis."

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that gradually destroy bones, muscles, joints, cartilage and other connective tissue. Over 1% or about 1.3 million Americans suffer from it.

Banda, senior author of the study published this week in the Journal of Immunology, has spent the last 14 years tracking down the causes of rheumatoid arthritis in collaboration with CU School of Medicine professors Michael Holers, MD, and William Arend, MD.

Now, with the discovery of pro-factor D in mice with rheumatoid arthritis, he is working on gene therapies to eliminate the protein in localized areas. However, these findings still need to be extended to humans.

"We are looking at vaccines, drugs or inhibitors to stop the local secretion of pro-factor D in the mouse," he said. "Our goal would be to stop the disease before it progresses and leads to joint destruction."

Factor D is part of the complement system, a complex array of over 40 proteins that help the body fight off bacteria and other pathogens. In studies with arthritic mice, Banda previously found that the complement pathway involving factor D made the mice susceptible to inflammatory arthritis.

In his latest study, he discovered that removing factor D, rather than the entire complement system, achieves the same result without compromising other parts of the system that can fight infection.

"We know that fat is normally present around all organs of the body," he said. "But what we didn't know until now was that the fat is secreting this protein which actually triggers arthritis in the joints."

He noted that fat does the same thing in all the joints, not just the knees. That means new medications resulting from this discovery could treat inflammatory arthritis throughout the body.

While it's theoretically possible to destroy the entire complement system in humans to prevent arthritis, it eventually returns along with a renewed risk of contracting the disease. In the meantime, patients can get infections and other complications because they lack this critical part of the immune system.

"The complement system is both friend and foe," Banda said. "We believe we can shut down one part of the complement system that triggers disease without shutting down the rest. If so, we will be making a major stride toward treating and perhaps even curing rheumatoid arthritis."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. W. P. Arend, G. Mehta, A. H. Antonioli, M. Takahashi, K. Takahashi, G. L. Stahl, V. M. Holers, N. K. Banda. Roles of Adipocytes and Fibroblasts in Activation of the Alternative Pathway of Complement in Inflammatory Arthritis in Mice. The Journal of Immunology, 2013; DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1300580

Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Denver. "Discovery shows fat triggers rheumatoid arthritis: Paves way for new gene therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508093022.htm>.
University of Colorado Denver. (2013, May 8). Discovery shows fat triggers rheumatoid arthritis: Paves way for new gene therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508093022.htm
University of Colorado Denver. "Discovery shows fat triggers rheumatoid arthritis: Paves way for new gene therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508093022.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. 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:
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