Navigation Links
Discovery shows fat triggers rheumatoid arthritis

AURORA, Colo. (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.

"We found that fat in the knee joints secretes a protein called pro-factor D which gives rise to another protein known as factor D that is linked to arthritis," said Nirmal Banda, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "Without factor D, mice cannot get rheumatoid arthritis."

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that gradually destroy bones, muscles, joints, cartilage and other connective tissue. Over 1% or about 1.3 million Americans suffer from it.

Banda, senior author of the study published this week in the Journal of Immunology, has spent the last 14 years tracking down the causes of rheumatoid arthritis in collaboration with CU School of Medicine professors Michael Holers, MD, and William Arend, MD.

Now, with the discovery of pro-factor D in mice with rheumatoid arthritis, he is working on gene therapies to eliminate the protein in localized areas. However, these findings still need to be extended to humans.

"We are looking at vaccines, drugs or inhibitors to stop the local secretion of pro-factor D in the mouse," he said. "Our goal would be to stop the disease before it progresses and leads to joint destruction."

Factor D is part of the complement system, a complex array of over 40 proteins that help the body fight off bacteria and other pathogens. In studies with arthritic mice, Banda previously found that the complement pathway involving factor D made the mice susceptible to inflammatory arthritis.

In his latest study, he discovered that removing factor D, rather than the entire complement system, achieves the same result without compromising other parts of the system that can fight infection.

"We know that fat is normally present around all organs of the body," he said. "But what we didn't know until now was that the fat is secreting this protein which actually triggers arthritis in the joints."

He noted that fat does the same thing in all the joints, not just the knees. That means new medications resulting from this discovery could treat inflammatory arthritis throughout the body.

While it's theoretically possible to destroy the entire complement system in humans to prevent arthritis, it eventually returns along with a renewed risk of contracting the disease. In the meantime, patients can get infections and other complications because they lack this critical part of the immune system.

"The complement system is both friend and foe," Banda said. "We believe we can shut down one part of the complement system that triggers disease without shutting down the rest. If so, we will be making a major stride toward treating and perhaps even curing rheumatoid arthritis."


Contact: David Kelly
University of Colorado Denver

Related biology news :

1. Pitt discovery holds potential in destroying drug-resistant bacteria
2. Discovery of new hormone opens doors to new type 2 diabetes treatments
3. Discovery may help prevent chemotherapy-induced anemia
4. Discovery may help prevent HIV reservoirs from forming
5. An important discovery in breast cancer by IRCM researchers
6. Genetic discovery found to influence obesity in people of African ancestry
7. Accidental discovery may lead to improved polymers
8. Gene discovery may yield lettuce that will sprout in hot weather
9. UGA discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere
10. Discovery could increase efficacy of promising cystic fibrosis drug
11. Discovery of first motor with revolution motion in a virus-killing bacteria advances nanotechnology
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/11/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an ... of clinical research, is pleased to announce that it will ... Trials (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 in ... to view live demonstrations of iMedNet , ... how iMedNet has been able to deliver time ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015 ... behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and verify ... Signature is considered as the secure and accurate ... identification of a particular individual because each individual,s ... accurate results especially when dynamic signature of an ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... solutions, today announced broader entry into the automotive market ... that match the pace of consumer electronics human interface ... sensors are ideal for the automotive industry and will ... Europe , Japan ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest ... market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations ... higher volume share for the region in the ... margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( ), finds that the market earned ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" ... reported financial results for the quarter ended September ... in Canadian dollars and presented under International Financial ... States ," said Andrew Rae , ... regarding iCo-008 are not only value enriching for ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered ... the company has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 ... posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico , with ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SHPG ) announced today that Jeff Poulton , Chief ... Annual Healthcare Conference in New York City , ... p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ) announced today that ... Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in New ... 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> Shire plc ...
Breaking Biology Technology: