Nav: Home

Research team discovers two biomarkers that contribute to spine osteoarthritis

August 04, 2016

A video on the research can be found here https://youtu.be/w1GgnBIqnYA

(TORONTO, Canada - Aug. 4, 2016) - A research team at the Krembil Research Institute has discovered a pair of tissue biomarkers that directly contribute to the harmful joint degeneration associated with spine osteoarthritis.

The study, published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight, is the first to show that elevated levels of both of these biomarkers cause inflammation, cartilage destruction and collagen depletion.

"These biomarkers are actively involved in increasing inflammation and destructive activities in spine cartilage and assist in its destruction," says principal investigator Dr. Mohit Kapoor, Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute and Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Kapoor specializes in arthritis research.

Osteoarthritis affects about three million Canadians and is characterized by a breakdown of the protective cartilage found in the body's spine, hand, knee and hip joints. There is no known cure.

The study involved tissue biopsies from 55 patients undergoing decompression or discectomy at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. As part of the study, the research team - led by Dr. Kapoor and comprising Dr. Akihiro Nakamura, a post-doctoral fellow, and Dr. Y. Raja Rampersaud, a clinical expert and spine surgeon - explored the role, function and signaling mechanisms of two tissue biomarkers: microRNA-181a-5p and microRNA-4454.

The study screened 2,100 microRNAs and found that measuring the levels of these two specific biomarkers can help clinicians determine the stage to which the disease has progressed, and provide a tool for determining the degree of cartilage destruction.

"These are biologically active molecules. By detecting them in the tissue biopsies, we have a tool for determining the stage of spine osteoarthritis," says Dr. Kapoor. "What is really significant, however, is we have discovered that these biomarkers are actively involved in destroying cartilage and increasing inflammation. Furthermore, they promote cartilage cells to die and deplete the most important component of your cartilage, which is your collagen."

The discovery represents the end of the first stage of research. The team is now investigating whether these biomarkers can be detected in the blood - which would help clinicians more simply determine the stage of spine osteoarthritis - and whether further studying the biomarkers will allow researchers to halt and reverse spine degeneration.

"The most critical aspect of this discovery is that we have found that they are active. Now that we know what they are, we are currently looking at blocking them and restoring the joint," says Dr. Kapoor.
-end-
The research published today was funded by the Arthritis Program at University Health Network and the Krembil Foundation.

About the Krembil Research Institute

The Krembil Research Institute (or "Krembil"), formerly the Toronto Western Research Institute, is one of the principal research institutes of the University Health Network. The Krembil is focussed on research programs dedicated to brain & spine, arthritis and vision disorders with a goal to alleviate debilitating chronic disease through basic, translational and clinical research. Krembil is located at the Toronto Western Hospital in downtown Toronto. For more information, visit http://www.uhn.ca.

MEDIA CONTACT

Jarrett Churchill
Senior Public Affairs Advisor
Krembil Neuroscience Centre | Krembil Research Institute
University Health Network
416-603-5800 x5294
Jarrett.Churchill@uhn.ca

University Health Network

Related Inflammation Articles:

A protein that controls inflammation
A study by the research team of Prof. Geert van Loo (VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research) has unraveled a critical molecular mechanism behind autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and psoriasis.
Inflammation in the brain linked to several forms of dementia
Inflammation in the brain may be more widely implicated in dementias than was previously thought, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge.
Social isolation could cause physical inflammation
Social isolation could be associated with increased inflammation in the body new research from the University of Surrey and Brunel University London has found.
Hydrogels control inflammation to help healing
Researchers test a sampling of synthetic, biocompatible hydrogels to see how tuning them influences the body's inflammatory response.
Why beta-blockers cause skin inflammation
Beta-blockers are often used to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.
How do ketogenic diets affect skin inflammation?
Not all fats are equal in how they affect our skin, according to a new study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, published by Elsevier.
The 'inflammation' of opioid use
New research correlates inflammation in the brain and gut to negative emotional state during opioid withdrawal.
Using a common anticonvulsant to counteract inflammation
The interaction between a chromosomal protein called HMGB1 and a cellular receptor called RAGE is known to trigger inflammation.
The inflammation connection
New biological findings point towards a new avenue for the development of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Stopping inflammation from becoming chronic
An international research team led by Friedrich Schiller University in Jena has developed a highly sensitive cell model to study the complex effects -- and side effects -- of anti-inflammatory drugs, with the ultimate aim of preventing chronic inflammation.
More Inflammation News and Inflammation Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.