Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Researchers Uncover Gene’s Role in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Discovery may extend to other autoimmune diseases.

University of Michigan research sheds new light on why certain people are more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis – paving the way to explore new treatments for both arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

The new UMHS research in mice identifies how a specific group of genes works behind the scenes to activate the bone-destroying cells that cause severe rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating health issue for millions of Americans.

“We believe this could be a significant breakthrough in our understanding of why certain genes are associated with higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases – a link that has been a mystery in the field for decades,” says lead author Joseph Holoshitz, M.D., professor of internal medicine and associate chief of research in the division of rheumatology at the U-M School of Medicine.

“We hope that this improved understanding will open the door to future design of drugs to treat this crippling disease and autoimmune disease in general.”

The research appeared in The Journal of Immunology and was highlighted by Nature Reviews Rheumatology.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that damages the lining of joints and causes bone erosion, joint deformity and disability. The disease is an autoimmune disorder, characterized by the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking the body's tissues.

Researchers have long studied the phenomenon of why certain versions of an inherited group of genes known as “human leukocyte antigen” (HLA) are associated with autoimmune disorders. One subset of these HLA genes that codes a protein sequence called “shared epitope” represents the most significant genetic risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis, affecting disease susceptibility and severity. However, until now, the reason for this strong link has been unclear.

A common theory in the field has been that the association between particular HLA genes and autoimmune diseases is a result of mistakenly identifying body tissues as foreign – making the body the target of the immune system and setting off an attack on self-tissues, which results in disease.

The UMHS research challenges this long-held theory. The study shows, for the first time, how this subset of HLA genes causes arthritis – by activating inflammation-causing cells, as well as bone-destroying cells (known as osteoclasts). This leads to severe arthritis and bone erosion.
 
“We showed how the shared epitope is directly triggering osteoclasts, the very cells that are responsible for joint destruction in people with the disease,” says Holoshitz.

“Understanding these mechanisms at play could be a significant piece of future drug development. Because we now know the molecular mechanism that activates arthritis-causing cells, we have the potential to block that pathway with simple chemical compounds that could be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

'Kidney on a Chip' Facilitates Safer Drug Dosing
University of Michigan researchers have used a "kidney on a chip" device to mimic the flow of medication through human kidneys and measure its effect on kidney cells.
Friday, May 06, 2016
Releasing Cancer Cells for Better Analysis
A new device developed at the University of Michigan could provide a non-invasive way to monitor the progress of an advanced cancer treatment.
Friday, April 29, 2016
Ancient Viruses Lurk in Our DNA
One whole endogenous retrovirus genome -- and bits of 17 others -- were spotted in a study of 2,500 human genomes.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Making Stem Cells 'Embryonic' Again
Research in mice shows for the first time that erasing epigenetic markers on chromatin can return stem cells to original state.
Monday, March 21, 2016
Lead Exposure Changes Gut Microbiota
Exposure to lead during early development can alter the the gut microbiota, increasing the chances for obesity in adulthood, researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health have found.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Breaking the Brain’s Garbage Disposal
The children’s ataxia gene problem turned out to be not such a big deal genetically — it was such a slight mutation that it barely changed the way the cells made the protein.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Silencing X Chromosomes
Work could lead to ways to counteract X-linked diseases in girls and women.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Precision Medicine for Penile Cancer
Defining the genomic landscape reveals similarities with other squamous cell cancers.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
New Method to Purify Water
The method sounds like a salad dressing recipe: take water, sprinkle in nanomaterials, add oil and shake.
Monday, December 14, 2015
X Chromosome Discovery Could Aid Research on Many Sex-Linked Disorders
U-M researchers find new way for RNA to regulate genetic activity.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
A New Factor in Depression?
Study in humans & rats shows more physical changes in depressed brains.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Adrenals Run Amok
Each of your kidneys wears a little yellow cap that helps keep your blood pressure in check, and much more. But in some people, it starts running amok, pumping out a hormone that sends blood pressure sky-high.
Friday, August 14, 2015
What Drives Advanced Prostate Cancer?
Large international study finds 90% have anomaly that could influence treatment.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
New Device May Shed Light on Why Cancer Cells Metastasize
Scientists from the University of Michigan think they are now a step closer to understanding why some cancer cells metastasize.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Tailor-Made Cancer Treatments? New Cell Culture Technique Paves The Way
Technique grew cells from 73% of patients in the study, more than three times as effective as previous methods.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Scientific News
Breakthrough Flu Vaccine Inhibited by Pre-existing Antibodies
Universal truths – how existing antibodies are sabotaging the most promising new human flu vaccines.
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
NIH Launches Early-Stage Yellow Fever Vaccine Trial
Researchers at NIH have begun an early-stage clinical trial of an investigational vaccine designed to protect against yellow fever virus.
New Medication Shows Promise Against Liver Fibrosis in Animal Studies
Liver fibrosis is a gradual scarring of the liver that puts people at risk for progressive liver disease and liver failure.
Raw Eggs Deemed Safe to Eat
A report published today by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) into egg safety has shown a major reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK eggs.
Monitoring TTX Toxin in Shellfish
In a number of small studies, mussels and oysters from the eastern and northern part of the Oosterschelde in Holland were found to contain tetrodotoxin (TTX).
Gene Terapy for Muscle Wasting Developed
New gene therapy could save millions of people suffering from muscle wasting disease.
NIH Begins Yellow Fever Vaccine Trial
NIH has initiated an early-stage clinical trial of a vaccine to protect against yellow fever.
Gene-Editing 'Toolbox' Targets Multiple Genes Simultaneously
Researchers have designed a system that modifies, or edits, multiple genes in a genome at once while minimising unintentional effects.
Detecting Alzheimer's with Smell Test
Odour identification test may offer low-cost alternative for predicting cognitive decline and detecting early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!