Blood Clotting Protein, Found Associated to Rheumatoid Arthritis

November 20, 2007 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

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The protein normally involved in blood clotting – fibrin – has been found to play an important role in the inflammatory response and development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Such were the findings of researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Inflammatory joint disease appears to be driven by the engagement of inflammatory cells with fibrin matrices through a specific integrin receptor, aMB2.

As reported in an article published in the November issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, the research findings suggest that therapies designed to interrupt the localized interaction of inflammatory cells and fibrin may help arthritis patients.

According to Jay Degen, Ph.D., a researcher in Developmental Biology at Cincinnati Children’s and the study’s lead author:

“Our study establishes that fibrin is a powerful, although context-dependent, determinant of inflammatory joint disease.

These findings also suggest that pharmacologically interrupting the interaction of fibrin and aMB2 might be efficacious in the treatment of arthritic disease as well as many other inflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.”

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (affecting 2.1 million people in the United States alone) is a painful and debilitating disease involving chronic inflammation, tissue degeneration, loss of cartilage and bone and ultimately loss of joint mobility and function

Although the disease’s precise cause is not fully known, activation of specific components in the body’s immune system seem to play a major role in its onset and early progression.

Fibrin deposits are a prominent feature of arthritic joints and the protein appears to be a link between systems that control inflammation and bleeding within joints.

In arthritic joints, the mesh-like matrices formed by fibrin to create blood clots may control local activity of inflammatory cells as well as support inappropriate tissue reorganization.

What does these all mean? Of course, new therapy for rheumatoid arthritis – good news to all those affected by this debilitating condition!

But then, this is not immediate, more steps are needed to be taken before this new therapy can make it to clinical use or before it can be available to rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Find more details from the full report.

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