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:12/15/2016)... 2016 ... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... The report forecasts the global military biometrics market to grow at ... report has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs ... prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:12/12/2016)... 2016  Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin, are ... combining the material with Silly Putty. The mixture (known ... able to sense pulse, blood pressure, respiration, and ... The research team,s findings were published ... http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6317/1257 ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... December 7, 2016 BioCatch , the global ... its patent portfolio, which grew to over 40 granted and pending patents. ... , , ... patent entitled " System, Device, and Method Estimating Force Applied ... device makers to forego costly hardware components needed to estimate the force ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017  Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. ... it has initiated a global Phase 2b induction ... peptide that targets alpha4beta7 integrin. The aim of ... to evaluate the safety/tolerability and efficacy of PTG-100 ... moderate to severe active disease. ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... --  Valentin A. Pavlov, PhD , associate investigator, and ... of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research ... nervous system regulates the immune system, which will help ... devices to treat disease and injury. The analysis is ... The paper examines various studies which further define the ...
(Date:1/14/2017)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... January 14, 2017 ... ... of Proximo™, a new service providing complete end-to-end genome assemblies to researchers around ... complete genomes eliminates a major obstacle in answering a wide range of scientific ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... a CAGR of 16.83% during the period 2017-2021. The ... biopolymers market for 2017-2021. To calculate the market size, the report considers ... report also includes a a discussion of the key vendors operating in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: