Researchers discover specific inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis treatment

November 12, 2013, Wayne State University

Collaborating with researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, a research team at Wayne State University's School of Medicine led by Kezhong Zhang, Ph.D., has contributed to an important discovery in the inflammatory stress mechanism and specific inhibitor for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

The team led by Zhang, associate professor of immunology and microbiology and Wayne State's Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, and the team led by Deyu Fang, Ph.D., associate professor of pathology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, worked together to discover the key inflammatory stress response that drives the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Their studies revealed that inflammatory stimuli trigger cell surface toll-like receptors of macrophages, the white blood cells that subsequently activate the Unfolded Protein Response transducer IRE1a to promote arthritis syndrome in the tissues around the joints.

Their work identified a specific IRE1a inhibitor that can efficiently prevent arthritis in animal models.

The study, "Toll-like receptor-mediated IRE1a activation as a therapeutic target for ," was published in the prestigious scientific journal EMBO. Zhang served as a corresponding author.

"This is a notable work in the understanding of the stress mechanism for the development of ," Zhang said. "For the first time, we revealed the molecular targets of Unfolded Protein Response and Toll-like Receptor signaling and their interaction mechanism in the progression of inflammatory arthritis. Our study not only identified previously unknown molecular targets, but also pointed out a specific inhibitor that can efficiently suppress arthritis."

Dr. Zhang said the next step toward the development of therapeutics may be testing the effects of specific inhibitors of Unfolded Protein Response in curing inflammatory arthritis with animal models and clinical trials.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that can affect many tissues and organs, but principally flexible joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common rheumatic diseases, affecting approximately 1.3 million people in the United States. The disease is three times more common in women than in men and afflicts people of all races. The disease can begin at any age, but it often occurs in adults between the ages of 40 and 60. The cause is unknown.

The disease is a costly one for the nation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, and rheumatic conditions cost the U.S. economy $128 billion annually, including $80.8 billion in medical expenditures and $47 billion in lost earnings.

Explore further: Rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease: Studies shed light on dangerous connection

More information: www.nature.com/emboj/journal/v … l/emboj2013183a.html

Related Stories

Rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease: Studies shed light on dangerous connection

October 26, 2013
People with rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory conditions are at higher risk of heart disease. Who is in the most danger, why and how best to prevent and detect cardiovascular complications are important ...

Pore formation in cell membranes linked to triggers of rheumatoid arthritis

October 30, 2013
Experiments by scientists at Johns Hopkins and in Boston have unraveled two biological mechanisms as the major cause of protein citrullination in rheumatoid arthritis. Protein citrullination is suspected of sparking the immune ...

Prolactin reduces arthritis inflammation

August 1, 2013
Inflammatory joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis are the result of cartilage damage and loss. Chondrocytes are the only cells that are found in cartilage and their death is linked to decreased cartilage health.

Discovery shows fat triggers rheumatoid arthritis

May 8, 2013
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.

Aggressive treatment of psoriatic arthritis results in 'significant' improvement, says new research

October 28, 2013
People with a type of arthritis affecting the skin and joints respond significantly better to early, aggressive drug treatment compared to standard care, according to preliminary results presented by a University of Leeds ...

Gum disease four times as common in rheumatoid arthritis patients

August 8, 2012
Gum disease is not only four times as common among patients with the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis as it is among their healthy peers, but it also tends to be more severe, indicates a small study published online ...

Recommended for you

Osteoarthritis could be treated as two diseases, scientists reveal

January 10, 2018
Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered that most people with osteoarthritis can be subdivided into two distinct disease groups, with implications for diagnosis and drug development.

US arthritis prevalence is much higher than current estimates

November 27, 2017
New research indicates that the prevalence of arthritis in the United States has been substantially underestimated, especially among adults

Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis

November 20, 2017
Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered.

Old World monkeys could be key to a new, powerful rheumatoid arthritis therapy

November 16, 2017
In the quest for a new and more effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC looked to a primate that mostly roams the land in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It was ...

Study lists foods for fighting rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and progression

November 8, 2017
A list of food items with proven beneficial effects on the progression and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is provided in a new study published today in Frontiers in Nutrition. The authors suggest incorporating these foods ...

Prototype equipment can detect rheumatoid arthritis

September 28, 2017
According to a first clinical study published in the scientific journal Photoacoustics, the University of Twente and various European partners have designed a device that shows the difference between healthy fingers and arthritic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.