Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mayo Clinic discovery on nature of rheumatoid arthritis lung disease may offer patients therapy

10.01.2005


A discovery by a Mayo Clinic research team may pave the way for the creation of new drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) lung disease, which affects an estimated 500,000 patients in the United States. Currently, there are no effective treatments for RA lung disease.

In a paper that appears in today’s online version of the Jan. 13 edition of Arthritis & Rheumatism, the researchers report that RA lung disease may operate much differently from other forms of lung disease. If further studies support this finding, it could change the way RA lung disease is treated as well as the design focus of drugs developed to treat it.

The Mayo Clinic research paper describes a staining method the team refined for identifying markers in RA patients’ lung tissues. The results establish two key points never before fully documented in the laboratory:

  • Certain specific T cells of the immune system, whose normal job in healthy people is to attack disease organisms that invade the body, are more abundant in tissue samples from patients with RA lung disease than in tissue samples from patients who have other forms of lung disease. This finding supports the concept that RA lung disease may be fundamentally different from other forms of lung disease -- and should be treated differently.


  • RA lung disease detection can be improved through the technological advance of computer-assisted image analysis. This improvement allows the disease to be diagnosed early and treated aggressively as a disease of the immune system.

Many doctors who have seen our results say, ’This is what I’ve always believed.’ But no one had proved it to them," says Carl Turesson, M.D., Ph.D., former Mayo Clinic research fellow now working at Malmo University Hospital in Sweden. Says Dr. Turesson, "Our work provides the evidence that was lacking, so from that standpoint, it is a very helpful demonstration that hopefully will lead to the development of new treatment strategies for RA lung disease."

The Investigation

In the Mayo Clinic laboratories, Dr.Turesson and colleagues examined 31 lung tissue biopsy specimens. Of those, 15 were from patients previously diagnosed with RA lung disease, and 16 were from patients who, although not suffering from RA lung disease, also had a disease affecting the lung tissue, interstitial lung disease. No one on the research team knew the diagnosis of a given specimen. All specimens were stained to enhance certain T cell subtypes and then examined by digital images magnified 100 times. The staining patterns were quantified using computer-assisted image analysis. Results from the 11,412 images analyzed indicated that tissue samples from RA lung disease patients consistently showed elevated numbers of a subset of T cells known as CD4 and CD3 cells.

Practical Implications of the Research

At least two immediate implications of this research could change the way researchers are attempting to design RA lung disease drugs and how aggressively RA lung disease patients are treated. First, the abundance of CD4 and CD3 cells in RA lung disease tissue suggests therapies specifically directed against T cells and T cell function may succeed where earlier therapeutic approaches did not. Explains Dr. Turesson: "This is a rationale for trying newer approaches to treating RA lung disease that involve drugs that block T cell action. That might help us make progress against this disease." Studies are ongoing to examine other important subtypes of cells involved in RA lung disease and to discover how these are related to its cause and the damage to the joints, lungs and other tissues of the body which result.

Second, data from the researchers shows that the form of RA disease that spreads beyond joints to involve the lungs is more likely to be fatal. However, if physicians can use the Mayo Clinic method for detecting early telltale signs of RA lung disease, they can decide to treat the disease aggressively in its early stages and thus potentially prolong lives, according to Dr. Turesson.

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis belongs to a class of diseases in which the immune system erroneously attacks the body. These are called "autoimmune" diseases. Because it is a systemwide disorder that can affect different parts of the body, RA can cause a variety of symptoms. It can work silently for years without symptoms, as in the early stages of both joint damage and RA lung disease. Symptoms can include joint pain, stiffness, inflammation, persistent cough, shortness of breath and fever. RA affects an estimated 1 percent of the U.S. population, about 2.1 million Americans, according to the Arthritis Foundation, http://www.arthritis.org. Of these, nearly one-half may have some abnormal lung function. Up to one-fourth -- about 500,000 Americans -- develop RA lung disease. In RA lung disease, the air sacs of the lung (alveoli) and the structures that support them become so damaged by inflammation that they become scarred, impairing effective lung functioning.

Collaboration and Support

In addition to Dr. Turesson, other Mayo Clinic investigators included: Eric Matteson, M.D.; Thomas Colby, M.D.; Zvezdana Vuk-Pavlovic, Ph.D.; Robert Vassallo, M.D.; Henry Tazelaar, M.D.; and Andrew Limper, M.D. Cornelia Weyand, M.D., Ph.D., former Mayo Clinic rheumatologists, now working at Emory University in Atlanta, also collaborated.

Lisa Lucier | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jtoc/76509746/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>