Researchers discover new cell types associated with osteoarthritis


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A Michigan Medicine study has identified a new potential target for the treatment of osteoarthritis—a debilitating joint disease that affects more than 31 million Americans and is a leading cause of disability worldwide. gender.

A team of researchers led by Tristan Maerz, Ph.D., a biomedical engineer and assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Michigan Medicine has discovered previously unknown cell types. This in the joint occurs after an injury and promotes the onset of osteoarthritis.

Clinically, osteoarthritis is a very complicated disease, patients have stiffness, reduced mobility and function, especially persistent pain. pain.

Osteoarthritis patients often live with the condition for decades, and no treatment has been developed that can stop or reverse the disease. This condition can occur with age or from injury to the joint and is usually managed with pain relief and end-stage joint replacement.

The study is titled “synovial fibroblasts take on distinct functional features and secrete R-spondin 2 in osteoarthritis” and is published in the journal Osteoarthritis. Chronicle of rheumatismexamined cellular and molecular events during the onset of post-traumatic osteoarthritis in the joints.

“We have identified the types of cells that appear in the joint after an injury, such as an anterior cruciate ligament injury, and we are now able to link these cell types cell Maerz said. “This allows us to view them as a therapeutic target for this devastating disease.”

Using an advanced gene-sequencing technology called single-cell RNA sequencing, Maerz and his team were able to detect these previously unaltered cells present in the joint post-traumatic love.

The study also describes biological processes that may activate these cells, presenting intriguing new targets for effective treatment.

“Interestingly, these cells are not found in healthy joints and we must understand exactly what causes them,” said Dr Alex Knights, senior postdoctoral researcher at Maerz Laboratories. appear and how they can cause osteoarthritis.” , who is credited with discovering and characterizing these cells and their biology.

Now that several types of cells that may be responsible for causing the disease have been identified, members of the Maerz Laboratory team hope that targeting them could be a treatment for osteoarthritis. effective matching.

“This study will help us better understand what it is,” said Elizabeth Dailey, MD, an orthopedic surgeon who treats end-stage osteoarthritis and joint replacement specialist at the University of Michigan Health who is working. how osteoarthritis progresses, especially after knee injury”. with Maerz and his team.

Maerz and his team are currently working with biomedical experts to develop new drug delivery systems that can be injected into the body. joint post-injury to slow or, ideally, prevent the development of osteoarthritis.

This work will be done alongside Dr Craig Duvall, a biomaterials and drug delivery engineering expert from Vanderbilt University, to create a slow-release drug that will stop the disease before it has a opportunities develop after a joint injury.

“This has the potential to provide a unique long-term treatment needed for patient adherence to a chronic disease such as osteoarthritis. The topical delivery also minimizes the potential for side effects. side effects from drug exposure in other tissues and organs, while maximizing beneficial drug efficacy at the targeted disease site,” Duvall said.

Maerz Laboratories plans to develop and test a biomaterial-based drug delivery system for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

“This new study [is] Kurt Hankenson, DVM, Ph.D., a senior fellow at Maerz labs and vice president of research in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, says it’s a huge step forward for osteoarthritis research on campus. schools and across the country.

“We work closely with our surgeon colleagues to understand the clinical relevance of our laboratory study in order to maximize its potential impact on clinical care. , that’s our ultimate goal.”

This work will also seek to understand how a certain molecular signaling pathway, specifically Wnt signaling, is involved in the early activation of articular cells after injury.

“For us, being able to develop a treatment that can be delivered immediately after a joint injury to stop this progression offers hope for the future. osteoarthritis patients,” Maerz said.

More information:
Alexander J Knights et al., Synovial fibroblasts assume distinct functional features and secrete R-spondin 2 in osteoarthritis, Chronicle of rheumatism (2022). DOI: 10.1136/ard-2022-222773

quote: Researchers discover new cell types associated with osteoarthritis (2023, January 10) retrieved January 11, 2023 from -uncover-cell-involved-osteoartritis.html

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