Osteoarthritis Caused by Inflammation, Not Wear and Tear on Joints
Osteoarthritis is caused by low-grade inflammation, not by wear and tear on the joints as previously thought, U.S. researchers say, according to UPI.
According to UPI, Dr. William Robinson of Stanford University School of Medicine said the finding offers hope that by targeting the inflammatory processes that occur early on in the development of osteoarthritis — well before it progresses to the point where symptoms appear — the condition might someday be preventable.
"It's a paradigm change," Robinson, the senior author of the study, said in a statement to UPI. "People in the field predominantly view osteoarthritis as a matter of simple wear and tear, like tires gradually wearing out on a car."
It has long been known that osteoarthritic joint tissues host an increased number of migratory inflammatory cells and of some of the substances these cells secrete — "not nearly as much as in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, which is clearly an autoimmune disease, but enough to make us wonder if inflammation is also a major player in osteoarthritis as well," Robinson said, according to UPI.
Robinson's team said that the increased numbers of inflammatory proteins early in the progress of osteoarthritis suggests that inflammation might be a driver, rather than a secondary consequence, of the disease, according to UPI.
The finding appears in the journal Nature Medicine