Antioxidant found to be effective in treating mice with osteoarthritis

September 14, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpress report
Antioxidant treatment with NAC prevented osteoarthritis and mitigated cartilage damage in the knee joints of mice deficient in Anp32 (right column). Credit: F.M.F. Cornelis et al., Science Translational Medicine (2018)

A team of researchers in Belgium and the Netherlands has found that feeding a common antioxidant to test mice was effective in treating osteoarthritis. In their paper published in Science Translational Medicine, the group outlines their study of the cause of the most prevalent joint disorder in the world and what they found.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that results in loss of joint cartilage and bone. It is most common in and results in pain and disability for millions of people the world over. There is currently no cure and treatment is limited to drugs that reduce associated inflammation. In this new effort, the researchers have made inroads regarding understanding how the disease comes about and have found a therapy for it that proved effective in .

The work involved studying people experiencing . They studied tissue samples and found decreased levels of the protein ANP32A. So they investigated the role it plays in the body—genetic profiling showed that the protein was involved in monitoring levels of an enzyme called AMT. Under normal circumstances, levels were adjusted to respond to in cells in joint cartilage—low levels led to increased stress. This finding suggested that boosting ANP32A levels artificially might prevent the progression of the disease. Intrigued by their findings, they administered an antioxidant called N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) to test mice with osteoarthritis—they had been bred in a way that made them unable to make ANP32A. NAC is currently used to improve lung function in people with emphysema, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, bronchitis and other lung ailments. The researchers report that adding it to the mice's water led to reduced loss of bone and cartilage compared to untreated mice.

The researchers note that because of differences in physiology, it is unlikely that giving NAC to people with osteoarthritis would help much—they plan instead to look for ways to induce increased production of ANP32A in patients, thereby preventing the from taking its toll.

Explore further: Dietary carbohydrates could lead to osteoarthritis, new study finds

More information: Frederique M. F. Cornelis et al. ANP32A regulates ATM expression and prevents oxidative stress in cartilage, brain, and bone, Science Translational Medicine (2018). DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar8426

Related Stories

Dietary carbohydrates could lead to osteoarthritis, new study finds

August 9, 2018
Do your knees ache? According to new findings from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, your diet could be a culprit.

Scientists find key proteins control risk of osteoarthritis during aging

February 14, 2018
More than 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis making it one of the most common age-related diseases.

New osteoarthritis genes discovered

March 19, 2018
In the largest study of its kind, nine novel genes for osteoarthritis have been discovered by scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators. Results of the study, published today (19 March) in Nature ...

Is zinc the missing link for osteoarthritis therapies?

February 13, 2014
Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability, characterized by the destruction of cartilage tissue in joints, but there is a lack of effective therapies because the underlying molecular causes have been unclear. A study ...

Rodents with trouble walking reveal potential treatment approach for most common joint disease

May 11, 2017
Maintaining the supply of a molecule that helps to nourish cartilage prevented osteoarthritis in animal models of the disease, according to a report published in Nature Communications online May 11.

The bugs in your gut could make you weak in the knees

April 19, 2018
Bacteria in the gut, known as the gut microbiome, could be the culprit behind arthritis and joint pain that plagues people who are obese, according to a new study published today in JCI Insight.

Recommended for you

Japanese team creates human oogonia using human stem cells in artificial mouse ovaries

September 21, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in Japan has successfully generated human oogonia inside of artificial mouse ovaries using human stem cells. In their paper published in the journal Science, the ...

A new approach to developing a vaccine against vivax malaria

September 21, 2018
A novel study reports an innovative approach for developing a vaccine against Plasmodium vivax, the most prevalent human malaria parasite outside sub-Saharan Africa. The study led by Hernando A. del Portillo and Carmen Fernandez-Becerra, ...

A Trojan Horse delivery for treating a rare, potentially deadly, blood-clotting disorder

September 21, 2018
In proof-of-concept experiments, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have highlighted a potential therapy for a rare but potentially deadly blood-clotting disorder, TTP. The researchers deliver this therapeutic ...

Researchers explore how changes in diet alter microbiome in artificial intestine

September 21, 2018
Using an artificial intestine they created, researchers have shown that the microbiome can quickly adapt from the bacterial equivalent of a typical western diet to one composed exclusively of dietary fats. That adaptation ...

Study identifies stem cell that gives rise to new bone and cartilage in humans

September 20, 2018
A decade-long effort led by Stanford University School of Medicine scientists has been rewarded with the identification of the human skeletal stem cell.

Scientists grow human esophagus in lab

September 20, 2018
Scientists working to bioengineer the entire human gastrointestinal system in a laboratory now report using pluripotent stem cells to grow human esophageal organoids.

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.