Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potential cause of arthritis discovered

22.08.2002


Carbohydrate activates body’s defenses, causing inflammation



Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have shown that certain types of naturally occurring carbohydrates in the body may cause rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating, painful disease affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Although there have been promising advances in treating the symptoms of arthritis, the exact causes of arthritic inflammation, swelling, and destruction of the joints has remained elusive. Now, researchers at BWH have for the first time associated carbohydrates present naturally in the body with this disease.


Dr. Julia Ying Wang, the lead BWH researcher in the study, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at HMS, has extensively examined the role of carbohydrates in diseases and infections. She will present her recent findings on arthritis at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting, to be held from August 18th through August 22nd, at the Hynes Convention Center and surrounding hotels.

Wang began wondering whether a particular class of carbohydrates, known as glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), triggered an immune response in the body. GAGs are naturally present as a major component of joint cartilage, joint fluid, connective tissue, and skin. In collaboration with Michael H. Roehrl, M.D., from HMS, Wang studied the effects GAGs had on mice, who subsequently experienced arthritic symptoms, including swelling, inflammation, and joint damage.

"This study shows that rheumatoid arthritis may result from the body’s mishandling of its own carbohydrates that, under normal circumstances, would not be interpreted as a threat," said Wang. "We found that inflammatory cells that accumulate in arthritic joints attach themselves directly to the glycosaminoglycans. This accumulation of cells leads to painful inflammation and swelling in the affected tissue."

In addition to their work with mice, Wang and Roehrl also examined human tissue taken from arthritis patients. They discovered the same type of glycosaminoglycan-binding cells in the human tissue. This is the first direct demonstration of such cells in humans and animals.

"It leads us to believe that rheumatoid arthritis may be an unusual immune response," added Wang.

Given her findings, Wang said subsequent research would most likely focus on the development of drugs aimed at stopping the growth, expansion, or adhesion of immune cells that react to glycosaminoglycans. Wang will continue to investigate carbohydrates and how they affect the body’s immune system.

"This research is extremely promising," said John Mekalanos, Professor and Chairman of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at HMS. "This study also suggests plausible models for how bacterial infection might trigger arthritis and how we might go about reversing this debilitating conditions with new therapies." Mekalanos added, "We are clearly a step closer to understanding the causes of a disease that has left the medical community with unanswered questions and many patients with discomfort and pain."

Wang will speak on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 1:50 p.m. in the Sheraton Boston, Republic B. For more information about the American Chemical Society meeting, contact Charmayne Marsh at 617-351-6879 or 202-872-4445.


###
BWH is a 716-bed nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of Partners HealthCare System, an integrated health care delivery network. Internationally recognized as a leading academic health care institution, BWH is committed to excellence in patient care, medical research, and the training and education of health care professionals. The hospital’s preeminence in all aspects of clinical care is coupled with its strength in medical research. A leading recipient of research grants from the National Institutes of Health, BWH conducts internationally acclaimed clinical, basic and epidemiological studies.

This release is being issued simultaneously by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the American Chemical Society.

Charmayne Marsh, Jeff Ventura | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acs.org/
http://www.brighamandwomens.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

nachricht How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

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,...

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

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>