Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Game changer for arthritis and anti-fibrosis drugs

12.11.2012
Discovery shows medications can treat inflammation without increasing risk for infection

In a discovery that can fundamentally change how drugs for arthritis, and potentially many other diseases, are made, University of Utah medical researchers have identified a way to treat inflammation while potentially minimizing a serious side effect of current medications: the increased risk for infection.

These findings provide a new roadmap for making powerful anti-inflammatory medicines that will be safer not only for arthritis patients but also for millions of others with inflammation-associated diseases, such as diabetes, traumatic brain injury, and inflammatory bowel disease, according to cardiologist Dean Y. Li, M.D., Ph.D., the U School of Medicine vice dean for research and HA and Edna Benning endowed professor of medicine who led the study. "This can change the way medication is made," he says. "If we can find a way to replace our most powerful drugs for arthritis, we might be able to develop another way to treat inflammation in other diseases that we've been unable to touch because of the danger of suppressing people's immune systems."

The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, Nature online, provides the University the opportunity to explore commercializing the technology either through collaboration outside of the state with pharmaceutical companies or within the state via initiatives such as USTAR. The Utah Legislature established USTAR (Utah Science Technology and Research) initiative in 2006 to promote economic growth and high paying jobs through research at the U of U and Utah State University.

"This is just one example of many scientific opportunities for the University and USTAR to work together to benefit not only millions of patients but build medical innovations in Utah," says Li, who's also director of the U of U Molecular Medicine program.

Two Cellular Pathways

When the body undergoes trauma or gets an infection, it responds by releasing cytokines—proteins that enter cells and unleash a three-pronged attack to kill invading bugs, hype up the immune system, and cause inflammation. While inflammation fights infection, it also produces an undesired side effect by weakening blood vessels, which can lead to swelling in the joints, brain or other areas. Scientists long have believed that cytokines use one cellular pathway in their response to infection, meaning that drugs made to block cytokines from causing inflammation also block the immune system and the ability to kill invading bugs.

In a study with mice, Li and his research colleagues upended the one-pathway belief by showing that cytokines use not one but two cellular pathways to battle infection: one to turn on the immune system and kill intruders and a separate one that destroys the architecture of tissues and organs. Identifying the separate pathway for inflammation has vast potential for developing drugs. "We can selectively block inflammation without making the patient immunosuppressed," Li says. "This rewrites the strategy for today's medicines. We focused the work on arthritis given this is a proven market for drugs that reduce damage from inflammation and fibrosis, but we suspect that many other diseases ranging from fibrosis following heart attacks to inflammatory bowel disease may benefit from such an approach."

Li's discovery has dramatic implications for the field of rheumatology, according to Tracy M. Frech, M.D., U of U assistant professor of internal medicine who specializes in rheumatology. "This may lead to more effective treatments for conditions such as lupus, systemic sclerosis, and the spectrum of inflammatory arthritis, without putting patients at risk for infections," she says. "This phenomenal work is a credit to the strong molecular medicine program here at the University of Utah."

Before a new generation of anti-inflammation drugs can be made, researchers must screen for molecules of chemical compounds that can be turned in pharmaceutical-grade drugs, something the University can and should do, according to Li. This can be accomplished either through collaboration with pharmaceutical companies outside of the state or with sources inside Utah, such as the USTAR initiative.

This study was funded by NIH grants:

#R01HL068873
#R01HL077671
#U54AI065357

Phil Sahm | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hsc.utah.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>