Navigation Links
Cartilage discovery offers arthritis hope

Scientists have revealed the intricate structure of cartilage in what they hope will provide clues to how the crippling joint disease osteoarthritis might one day be treated.

The disease, which affects more than five million people in the UK, is caused by the wear and tear of the smooth, hard cartilage tissue that covers the ends of bones allowing them to glide over one another at the joint.

Scientists have long known that cartilage gets its strength from interlocking millimetre-long collagen fibres that work in a similar way to the load-bearing steel rods in reinforced concrete.

But the precise structure of these fibres or 'fibrils' has remained a mystery for more than 40 years, so hindering any progress towards the development of potential therapies.

Now, a team from The University of Manchester has used sophisticated electron microscope techniques to uncover the molecular structure of the thinner of the two types of collagen fibrils.

Professor Karl Kadler, who led the research in the Faculty of Life Sciences, said: "The ability of cartilage to withstand cycles of compression and relaxation is directly attributable to the collagen fibrils.

"Osteoarthritis occurs when the fibrils are disrupted or lost ?just like concrete without the steel, the cartilage becomes mechanically weak and susceptible to wear and tear.

"Eventually, the cartilage breaks down altogether and sufferers experience severe pain as the two ends of the bones rub against each other."

The team's findings ?published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ?also explain why mutations in cartilage collagen genes cause osteoarthritis.

"Without a detailed understanding of the structure of these fibrils, a treatment that prevents them deteriorating would always prove elusive," said Professor Kadler.

"This research, while just a beginning, at least establishes some basic scientific facts that coul d prove useful in future studies on osteoarthritis and related conditions."

The next stage of the team's work will be to determine the structure of the thicker fibrils and examine how collagen cells manage to produce these relatively large fibrous structures which are 1,000 times their own size.

Once scientists understand how the fibrils form and develop in healthy cartilage, they can then investigate what happens when things go wrong in diseases like osteoarthritis.


'"/>

Source:University of Manchester


Related biology news :

1. Protein discovery could unlock the secret to better TB treatment
2. Purdue proves concept of using nano-materials for drug discovery
3. UCSD discovery may help extend life of natural pesticide
4. Leprosy microbes lead scientists to immune discovery
5. Biochemists report discovery of structure of major piece of telomerase; implications for cancer
6. Researchers make surprise discovery that some neurons can transmit three signals at once
7. Important discovery about second most fatal cancer
8. Harmless virus may hold key to more effective HIV drug discovery
9. Fundamental discovery -- Bone fracture
10. Genetic discovery could lead to drought-resistant plants
11. Gene discovery sheds light on causes of rare disease, cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/22/2016)... BETHESDA, Md. , June 22, 2016  The American ... by Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of ... Summit on May 25-27 at the Bellagio in ... based on the highest percentage of growth in each of ... number of exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016 On Monday, the Department of Homeland ... share solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request ... Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add biometrics ... the United States , in order to deter ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , ... announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables ... the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a ... engineering, was today awarded as one of the ... the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is ... the real world in the nutrition, health and ... directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... find the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings ... here to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... - FACIT has announced the creation of a ... Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), to ... of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment of ... an exciting class of therapies, possessing the potential ... patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: