A Study Now Identifies Protective Proteins Against Joint Inflammation

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(Newswire.net — December 22, 2021) Orlando, FL — More and more researchers are investigating the effects of chronic inflammation on health and how to fight it. It is important to keep in mind that joint inflammation is highly common nowadays, and is the reason why many live a reduced quality of life.

A study was carried out by researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

In this study, it has been found that certain endogenous proteins play a significant part in parasitic infection and allergies. According to researchers, this prevents the immune system from mistakenly attacking the body and producing inflamed joints.  

Experts say that in protecting the body from infections, the immune system becomes a significant factor for survival. However, it is also worth noting that immune cells can sometimes wrongfully attack the body and this leads to autoimmune diseases. 

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of these diseases, which affects around five percent of the population. It is worth realizing that in cases of RA, the immune system attacks the joints and this results in inflammation and pain.  

The investigators particularly reveal that some proteins called IL-4 and IL-13 may play a significant part in preventing autoimmune attacks.  These are proteins that are released by immune cells as a response to parasitic infections or allergens.  

They are found to have an influence on the behavior of neutrophils, which is a specific type of immune cell. Neutrophils are abundant in a majority of immune cells that can be found in the actively inflamed joints of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. 

According to researchers, they are particularly detrimental to the tissue since they can secrete various fairly non-specific tissue irritants. 

In previous studies of experimental models, it has been found that IL-4 and IL-13 can impact arthritis, but it has remained unclear exactly how they do so. 

“The results we obtained using CRISPR were key to quickly understanding how the system under study is regulated,” says Dr. Wermeling. 

Principal investigator Fredrik Wermeling is assistant professor at the Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet (Solna). 

“I have high hopes that the experimental use of CRISPR will be hugely important to our understanding of how immune-cell behavior is regulated, and that this can guide us in the development of new efficacious drugs.”

Researchers continue to carry out studies to look into the best and safe ways in reducing inflammation levels inside the body. It is important to keep in mind that chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases, in addition to its link with arthritis. 

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