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:4/11/2017)... BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... identity management and secure authentication solutions, today announced ... contract by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) ... for IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has ... onset and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 11, 2017 ... "Company"), a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent ... John Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the ... ... behalf of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... YORK , April 5, 2017 Today ... is announcing that the server component of the HYPR ... known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million ... makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent communities of bacteria that are encased in a ... and catheter infections to gum disease and the rejection of medical implants. Though ... year, there is currently a paucity of means for preventing their formation or treating ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... is exhibiting in booth B2 at the Association for Pathology Informatics Annual ... , In addition to demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation Portal, Inspirata ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... Dr. Ralph Mobbs of the Neuro ... Wales Private Hospital. The procedure was performed on a 46-year-old male patient suffering ... prior to undergoing surgery. , The AxioMed viscoelastic disc is a next-generation disc ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... medical device compliance and commercialization, has just released version 9.0 of the Cognition ... this latest version of Cockpit,” says David Cronin, CEO of Cognition. “We’re thrilled ...
Breaking Biology Technology: