Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new cause of osteoarthritis identified by research on a rare disease

12.08.2014

A new mechanism of joint destruction caused by a natural material that grinds away healthy cartilage and worsens osteoarthritis has been identified in human hip joints for the first time by University of Liverpool scientists.

The scientists, with Professor Alan Boyde and colleagues from Queen Mary University of London, were studying the hip of a man with the genetic condition, alkaptonuria (AKU), This is a metabolic disease in which a substance called homogentisic acid accumulates in joint cartilage, causing changes to its physical properties.

The study revealed the presence of high density mineralised protrusions (HDMP), which have only been seen before in horses. These protrusions are caused as the body acts to fill in cracks in joint cartilage and can snap off, leading to sharp, dense particles in the joint which grind against healthy tissue.

To confirm the findings, the team studied eight hips donated for research by people with osteoarthritis and found the same results as in the alkaptonuria patient.

Professor Jim Gallagher led the study in Liverpool. He said: "There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but it is one of the leading causes of disability, causing immense pain and difficulty of movement to sufferers.

"The discovery of HDMP in humans means that for the first time we are seeing an important mechanism in the process which causes the disease. In effect these small, sharp particles could act like an abrasive powder scouring the surfaces of the joint."

The researchers studied the joint without taking out the calcium - a method which is typically used to make bones softer and easier to examine. This process, which involves using acid, would normally have the effect of destroying the HDMPs thus explaining why they have not been recognised before in humans.

Professor Gallagher, from the University's Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease concluded: "Studying a rare illness like alkaptonuria is a worthwhile project in itself, but it can also help with new insights into much more common diseases.

"This is a case in point, and because of our work on alkaptonuria, we are now able to add a new piece to the puzzle of an illness that affects millions."

The study, published in the Journal of Anatomy, recommends that searching for these HDMPs should now be included in the study of patients with osteoarthritis.

The study was supported by the AKU Society and the Rosetrees Trust.

Read the full paper here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joa.12226/full

Jamie Brown | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.liverpool.ac.uk

Further reports about: Chronic acid cartilage illness osteoarthritis particles

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Automated driving: Steering without limits

OmniSteer project to increase automobiles’ urban maneuverability begins with a € 3.4 million budget

Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...

Im Focus: Microscopy: Nine at one blow

Advance in biomedical imaging: The University of Würzburg's Biocenter has enhanced fluorescence microscopy to label and visualise up to nine different cell structures simultaneously.

Fluorescence microscopy allows researchers to visualise biomolecules in cells. They label the molecules using fluorescent probes, excite them with light and...

Im Focus: NASA's ICESat-2 equipped with unique 3-D manufactured part

NASA's follow-on to the successful ICESat mission will employ a never-before-flown technique for determining the topography of ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice, but that won't be the only first for this mission.

Slated for launch in 2018, NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) also will carry a 3-D printed part made of polyetherketoneketone (PEKK),...

Im Focus: Sinking islands: Does the rise of sea level endanger the Takuu Atoll in the Pacific?

In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister picture is being painted evoking the demise of the island states and their cultures. Are the effects of sea-level rise already noticeable on reef islands? Scientists from the ZMT have now answered this question for the Takuu Atoll, a group of Pacific islands, located northeast of Papua New Guinea.

In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister...

Im Focus: Energy-saving minicomputers for the ‘Internet of Things’

The ‘Internet of Things’ is growing rapidly. Mobile phones, washing machines and the milk bottle in the fridge: the idea is that minicomputers connected to these will be able to process information, receive and send data. This requires electrical power. Transistors that are capable of switching information with a single electron use far less power than field effect transistors that are commonly used in computers. However, these innovative electronic switches do not yet work at room temperature. Scientists working on the new EU research project ‘Ions4Set’ intend to change this. The program will be launched on February 1. It is coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).

“Billions of tiny computers will in future communicate with each other via the Internet or locally. Yet power consumption currently remains a great obstacle”,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

DATE 2016 Highlighting Automotive and Secure Systems

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new potential biomarker for cancer imaging

05.02.2016 | Life Sciences

Graphene is strong, but is it tough?

05.02.2016 | Materials Sciences

Tiniest Particles Shrink Before Exploding When Hit With SLAC's X-ray Laser

05.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>