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'Rotten eggs' gas and inflammation in arthritic joints
Date:8/20/2010

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gas more commonly associated with the smell of 'rotten eggs' and blocked drains. However, it has now been shown to be present naturally in our bodies and reside in knee joint synovial fluid, the protective fluid found in the cavities of joints that reduces friction between the cartilage of joints during movement. Synovial fluid H2S may play a role in reducing inflammation in joints.

The research, carried out by scientists at the Peninsula Medical School and rheumatologists at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust in Exeter and funded by the local Northcott Medical Research Foundation, was presented at the New York Academy of Sciences' 4th International Conference on Oxidative/Nitrosative Stress and Disease and is published in the current issue of the prestigious Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

The study compared H2S in blood samples and knee-joint synovial fluid from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and healthy individuals. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis were found to have higher concentrations of H2S in their synovial fluid compared to controls and up to four fold higher levels than in blood samples from the same patients. Higher H2S levels were associated with disease activity and lowered counts of inflammatory cells suggesting H2S may be a novel mediator made by the body to control inflammation. This is the first time that H2S has been shown to be present in the synovial fluid of joints.

As a result, the way is open for further study into how H2S could be used as a therapeutic and possibly 'natural' option for patients with chronic inflammatory diseases.

In 2008 the same research team from the Peninsula Medical School synthesised a new molecule that release very low amounts of H2S in a controlled manner. This was a major breakthrough because until then H'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Gould
andrew.gould@pms.ac.uk
44-139-268-6107
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

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