Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


The role of Type II Collagen in rheumatoid arthritis


Study sheds new light on this critical protein’s involvement in autoimmunity and chronic, corrosive joint inflammation

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints, which gradually erodes the cartilage and bone. The agents of destruction include inflammatory cells, cytokines, and protein-degrading enzymes known as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The vicious cycle begins when inflammatory cells infiltrate the tissue lining the joints and consume excess oxygen. In addition to unleashing MMPs, the oxidative stress provokes non-enzymatic glycation – a chemical binding of sugar molecules and proteins. Telltale signs of glycation have been found in blood, urine, and synovial fluid of RA patients.

The primary protein in cartilage, Type II Collagen (CII) is crucial to joint health and function. Yet, the involvement of CII in the process of joint inflammation has proven difficult to substantiate. To gain a clearer understanding of CII’s role in the pathogenesis of RA, researchers at Queen Mary, University of London and others studied its behavior within an inflamed joint, when modified by oxidants linked to inflammation or by ribose, a five-carbon sugar common to all living cells. Featured in the December 2005 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, their findings support CII’s potential contribution to antibody binding and RA’s devastating progression.

For their investigation, the researchers collected blood serum samples from 31 RA patients. Between the ages of 65 to 93 years, the patients had disease in varying stages and were receiving different treatments. For control purposes, serum samples were also collected from 41 patients with other inflammatory joint diseases, including osteoarthritis and lupus, as well as back pain, osteoporosis, and gout. Both RA and non-RA samples were analyzed for their ability to bind to pure and natural CII, obtained from bovine cartilage, and to CII that had been chemically modified. The modified CII included three oxidants present in the rheumatic joint – hydroxyl radical, hypochlorous acid, and peroxynitrite – and ribose. The results were evaluated by a state-of-the-art 3-D fluorescent profile, followed by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) and Western blotting.

Of the 31 RA serum samples analyzed, only 3 showed antibody binding to natural CII – affirming this protein as an innocent bystander in autoimmunity and its inflammatory toll on the joints. However, the percentage of samples that exhibited antibody binding increased 4-fold when tested with modified CII. In fact, 45 percent of all RA samples were assessed with moderate to strong antibody binding reactions. CII treated with hypochlorous acid was the most reactive, followed by CII treated with peroxynitrite, glycation, and hydroxyl radical, respectively. In contrast, only 1 non-RA sample showed strong antibody binding to modified CII.

"The present findings support the possibility that chemical modification of self antigens, in RA in particular and in inflammation in general, is the cause of formation of neoepitopes," reflects the study’s leading author, Ahuva Nissim, Ph.D. "We propose that the oxidative modification of CII creates a CII autoantigen." This hypothesis has important implications for the further study and enhanced understanding of the pathology of RA – a complex autoimmune disease.

Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica

26.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>