Scientists discover possible target for treating and preventing osteoarthritis

Wear and tear on joints can lead to inflammation, breakdown of cartilage and development of osteoarthritis. Scientists at UF Scripps Biomedical Research have found a possible new target to fight this painful cascade.

In a study published Thursday in the journal PLOS One, biochemist Patrick Griffin, Ph.D., and colleague Mi Ra Chang, Ph.D., describe a specific protein that manages activities within chondrocytes, a critical cell type that maintains healthy  in joints.

As people age and stress their joints, their chondrocytes begin to fail. The UF Scripps team found that activating a  in these cells called RORβ (beta) could restore multiple factors needed for smooth joints to healthier levels, helping to control inflammation. Activating RORβ could thus present a useful new strategy to prevent or delay development of the degenerative joint disease osteoarthritis, said Griffin, a professor of molecular medicine and scientific director of UF Scripps Biomedical Research.


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