Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Progress in osteoarthritis pain relief signaled by new research

Date:
February 26, 2014
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
A new way to potentially block the chronic and often debilitating pain affecting osteoarthritis sufferers has been uncovered by researchers. Currently, people experiencing the severe pain associated with OA are offered pain relieving drugs such as steroid injections and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which work by reducing inflammation. However, some of these drugs can be associated with severe side-effects that limit their use. In a new study, scientists studied a protein ('receptor') called TRPV1, which is produced by nerve cells in the human body that are responsive to pain, including those that respond to stimulation of joints.

Researchers from the Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre at The University of Nottingham have discovered a new way to potentially block the chronic and often debilitating pain affecting osteoarthritis sufferers.

Currently, people experiencing the severe pain associated with OA are offered pain relieving drugs such as steroid injections and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which work by reducing inflammation. However, some of these drugs can be associated with severe side-effects that limit their use.

In a new study published by the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases and highlighted by Nature Reviews Rheumatology scientists studied a protein ('receptor') called TRPV1, which is produced by nerve cells in the human body that are responsive to pain, including those that respond to stimulation of joints.

Blocking pain

Dr Sara Kelly, a lecturer in neuroscience at the University, and one of the lead researchers on the project, says that previous research has suggested that TRPV1 could be an important contributor to osteoarthritis pain and that drugs that 'block' TRPV1 (TRPV1 antagonists) have the potential to reduce it.

"The success of recent clinical trials in osteoarthritis patients of TRPV1 antagonists has been hampered by adverse effects on body temperature resulting in hyperthermia (or overheating of the body)," explained Dr Kelly.

"Using a model of human osteoarthritis pain we wanted to investigate if by blocking these receptors locally within the diseased joint, could we reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis, without the side effect of hyperthermia -- and the answer is -- yes.

"Osteoarthritis is a very common disease and the pain it causes is severe and can last a life time. A lot of patients who suffer with osteoarthritis are elderly and it would be better if we could treat their pain by giving them a drug, rather than putting them through a major surgical procedure like a joint replacement. The annual cost of joint replacement to the NHS is close to 200 million, which is another reason to look for a more effective solution."

Reversing the pain

So by blocking TRPV1 within the joint, Dr Kelly and the pain centre research team were able to reverse the pain responses in the osteoarthritis pain model.

"By targeting the joint directly, we did not see the side effect of hyperthermia, which is thought to be generated outside of the joint at the level of abdominal organs," added Dr Kelly.

This latest discovery suggests that injecting TRPV1 antagonists directly into the diseased joint could potentially maximise the effectiveness of the pain relief without producing undesirable side effects. This approach will potentially be used to help treat the pain caused by osteoarthritis in the future. However, the effectiveness of TRPV1 antagonists in reducing osteoarthritis pain following locally delivery to the joint needs to be tested in clinical trials in patients first.

Growing epidemic

In this country alone, osteoarthritis affects over eight million people, and with an aging population combined with the growing obesity epidemic, this figure is set to rise.

Professor Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, which funded the research, said: "We desperately need new approaches to treating the pain of osteoarthritis. For some years this particular pathway has shown potential as a means by which osteoarthritic pain may be transmitted, but until now attempts at blocking this pathway have caused unacceptable side-effects.

"This research seems to suggest it might be possible to overcome this and to provide a novel and effective approach to targeting osteoarthritis."

Dr Kelly added: "Osteoarthritis is more common in individuals 65 years of age and over, but younger people can have it too. The pain of osteoarthritis can have a severe impact on daily life activities, so improved pain relieving treatments could have a huge impact on the quality of life of millions of people."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Kelly, R. J. Chapman, S. Woodhams, D. R. Sagar, J. Turner, J. J. Burston, C. Bullock, K. Paton, J. Huang, A. Wong, D. F. McWilliams, B. N. Okine, D. A. Barrett, G. J. Hathway, D. A. Walsh, V. Chapman. Increased function of pronociceptive TRPV1 at the level of the joint in a rat model of osteoarthritis pain. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203413

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Progress in osteoarthritis pain relief signaled by new research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226074931.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2014, February 26). Progress in osteoarthritis pain relief signaled by new research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226074931.htm
University of Nottingham. "Progress in osteoarthritis pain relief signaled by new research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226074931.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) 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:
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