Navigation Links
First-ever study: lack of critical lubricant causes wear in joints
Date:11/6/2007

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Mice that dont produce lubricin, a thin film of protein found in the cartilage of joints, showed early wear and higher friction in their joints, a new study led by Brown University researchers shows.

This link between increased friction and early wear in joints is a first; no other team of scientists has proven this association before. The finding, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, sheds important light on how joints work. The discovery also suggests that lubricin, or a close cousin, could be injected directly into hips, knees or other joints inflamed from arthritis or injury a preventive treatment that could reduce the need for painful and costly joint replacement surgery.

In an editorial that accompanies the journal article, orthopedics researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago call the research an important contribution to the field and note that the use of biomolecules like lubricin to prevent joint wear could have a substantial clinical impact, if successful.

Gregory Jay, M.D, a Rhode Island Hospital emergency physician and an associate professor of emergency medicine and engineering at Brown, led the research. For 20 years, Jay has studied lubricins role as a boundary lubricant by reducing friction between opposing layers of cartilage inside joints. In this new work, Jay and his colleagues set out to answer the next question: Does reducing friction actually prevent wear, or surface damage, in joints?

To find out, Jay and his team studied cartilage from the knees of mice that dont produce lubricin. Directly after birth, the cartilage was smooth. But in as little as two weeks, researchers found, the cartilage began to show signs of wear. Under an electron microscope, scientists could see that the collagen fibers that cartilage is composed of were breaking up, giving the surface a rough, frayed appearance. This damage is called wear, an early sign of joint disease or injury.

Jay and his team then took the work a step further. To better understand how lubricin works, they tried to see the structure of the film. So they put a tiny bit of the protein under an atomic force microscope. At the nanoscale, the molecule appeared as a mesh row upon row of interlocking fibers that could repel a microscope probe. This repulsion, created with water and electrical charges, shows how lubricin acts as a buffer, keeping opposing layers of cartilage apart.

We demonstrated that lubricin reduces both friction and wear and also showed how, on a molecular level, it does this work in the body, Jay said. Whats exciting are the clinical implications. Arthritis and sports injuries damage the joints of thousands of people in the United States and millions of people worldwide each year. Our aim is to make a treatment that can actually prevent wear in the joints.

Through Rhode Island Hospital, Jay has filed two patents on the protein and its sequences and, in 2004, helped form Tribologics, a biotech company formed out of Rhode Island Hospital. The Massaschusetts-based business is developing an injection treatment for inflamed joints that contains lubricin.


'/>"/>

Contact: Wendy Lawton
Wendy_Lawton@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study: diabetic neuropathy costs billions per year in lost work time
2. Study: Fountain of youth for your heart?
3. Critically endangered Amur leopard captured
4. Hidden interactions between predators and prey: evolution causes cryptic dynamics in ecology
5. Grubs passion for plastic causes water loss
6. St. Jude identifies the specific cell that causes eye cancer, disproving long-held theory
7. Influenza vaccine causes weaker immune response for children of rural Gabon than in semi-urban areas
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services ... Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage ... Model sm . In addition, CHS previously earned ... hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... high level of EMR usage in an outpatient ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be ... 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 21, 2017 Optimove , provider ... retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today announced ... and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, these ... and replenishment recommendations to their customers based not ... of customer intent drawn from a complex web ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl ... CEO of Eurofins Advantar Laboratories and President of Pharmaceutical Development Business Unit of Cardinal ... at Eurofins and Cardinal Health, he was former Chief Operating Officer at Anaborex, Senior ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... Cognition Corporation ( ... just released version 9.0 of the Cognition Cockpit platform. , “Our whole team ... David Cronin, CEO of Cognition. “We’re thrilled to finally be able to release ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... HOLLOWAY AMERICA, a leading manufacturer of stainless ... and pharmaceutical/biotech, recently introduced The Revolution Lift™, a new precision-controlled head lift assembly ... comes on the heels of HOLLOWAY’s release of the intelliVessel™, a smart tank ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... Many complicated neurological ... to develop Alzheimer’s disease, while men are at greater risk for Parkinson’s disease. ... bias is the aim of a research program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: