Our researcher at KUMC has developed methods of prediction, diagnosis, and treatment of primary osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of joint disease among middle aged and older people. OA develops most frequently due to an unknown cause of joint degeneration, a condition known as either primary or idiopathic OA. Less frequently, OA develops as a result of injuries or other disorders, known as secondary OA.
Although many risk factors have been implicated in the pathogenesis of OA, the root cause remains uncertain. Presently, there are no effective methods capable of preventing the initiation of primary osteoarthritis or reversing joint degeneration during the progression of the disease.
Currently, osteoarthritis clinics only offer palliative treatments, such as pain amelioration, weight reduction, and joint replacement. Efforts to repair damaged articular cartilage face major obstacles due to the limited intrinsic repair capacity of the tissue. Consequently, development of effective methods for preventing and/or treating OA is dependent upon the identification of the mechanisms for the initiation and progression of OA.
These results have identified a root case of primary OA (loss of a transcription factor) and the potential therapeutic use of this transcription factor for prevention and/or early treatment of primary OA.
How it works:
The KUMC researcher has recently discovered that adult mice lacking a specific transcription factor recapitulate most of the characteristics of human primary OA, including the loss of articular cartilage, chondrophyte/osteophyte formation, thickening of subchondral bone, and eventual joint destruction in older animals. Treatment with this transcription factor can rescue the OA phenotype in adult articular cartilage cells.
Why it is better:
Previous OA-like animal models induced by mutating a cartilage structural protein/growth factor or a cartilage matrix-degrading enzyme did not reveal which intracellular factors regulate the functions of these molecules in articular cartilage.
Prediction, Prevention and treatment of Osteoarthritis.