A combination of two drugs seems to reverse arthritis in rats

New hope for arthritis sufferers comes from a new study published in Protein & Cell according to which a particular combination of drugs can reverse arthritis in rats. These are two experimental drugs that, according to the researchers, can reverse molecular cellular signals of osteoarthritis in mice as well as in laboratory isolated cells taken from human cartilage.

According to Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, the main author of the study and professor at the Salk Institute, it is a method that would be easily transformed into a potential clinical therapy for human beings. The same researcher suggests that this same method needs to be perfected before it can be used on humans.

Arthrosis is a fairly common disorder so common that it affects 30 million adults worldwide. Its prevalence is expected to increase over the next few years due to the average age of people as well as an increase in the obesity rate. Researchers performed experiments on young rats by injecting them with viral particles containing DNA instructions to produce αKLOTHO (alpha-KLOTHO) and TGFβR2 (beta receptor TGF 2), two molecules that previous research had identified as important for possible new treatments of osteoarthritis.

Six weeks after the start of the experiment the rats that had received these particles showed a recovery of cartilage compared to mice in the control group. The cartilage was thicker and there were fewer dying cells. In general, the disease in mice improved from stage 2 to stage 1 and no particular side effects were observed.

The researchers also performed experiments on cells isolated from human cartilage in the laboratory. After injecting αKLOTHO and TGFβR2 into these cells as well, the researchers noticed an increase in molecules involved in the cell proliferation of cartilage.

As Pedro Guillen, the corresponding author of the study, states, a viable treatment for arthrosis in humans could be derived from these results.