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      New and improved strategies for the treatment of gout

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          Abstract

          The Western world appears to be in the midst of the third great gout epidemic of all time. In this century, gout is increasing in prevalence despite an increased understanding of its risk factors and pathophysiology, and the availability of reasonably effective treatment. The main cultural factors responsible for this appear to be diet, obesity, ethanol use and medications. Excess fructose consumption is a newly recognized modifiable risk factor. The debate has been renewed concerning hyperuricemia as an independent risk factor for renal insufficiency and cardiovascular disease. Prevention is still rooted in lifestyle choices. Existing treatments have proven to be unsatisfactory in many patients with comorbidities. New treatments are available today and on the horizon for tomorrow, which offer a better quality of life for gout sufferers. These include febuxostat, a nonpurine inhibitor of xanthine oxidase with a potentially better combination of efficacy and safety than allopurinol, and investigational inhibitors of URAT-1, an anion exchanger in the proximal tubule that is critical for uric acid homeostasis. New abortive treatments include interleukin-1 antagonists that can cut short the acute attack in 1 to 2 days in persons who cannot take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine or corticosteroids. Lastly, newer formulations of uricase have the ability to dissolve destructive tophi over weeks or months in patients who cannot use currently available hypouricemic agents. Diagnostically, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging offer advanced ways to diagnose gout noninvasively, and just as importantly, a way to follow the progress of tophus dissolution. The close association of hyperuricemia with metabolic syndrome, hypertension and renal insufficiency ensures that nephrologists will see increasing numbers of gout-afflicted patients.

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          Most cited references 213

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          The inflammasomes: guardians of the body.

          The innate immune system relies on its capacity to rapidly detect invading pathogenic microbes as foreign and to eliminate them. The discovery of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) provided a class of membrane receptors that sense extracellular microbes and trigger antipathogen signaling cascades. More recently, intracellular microbial sensors have been identified, including NOD-like receptors (NLRs). Some of the NLRs also sense nonmicrobial danger signals and form large cytoplasmic complexes called inflammasomes that link the sensing of microbial products and metabolic stress to the proteolytic activation of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1beta and IL-18. The NALP3 inflammasome has been associated with several autoinflammatory conditions including gout. Likewise, the NALP3 inflammasome is a crucial element in the adjuvant effect of aluminum and can direct a humoral adaptive immune response. In this review, we discuss the role of NLRs, and in particular the inflammasomes, in the recognition of microbial and danger components and the role they play in health and disease.
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            Molecular identification of a renal urate anion exchanger that regulates blood urate levels.

            Urate, a naturally occurring product of purine metabolism, is a scavenger of biological oxidants implicated in numerous disease processes, as demonstrated by its capacity of neuroprotection. It is present at higher levels in human blood (200 500 microM) than in other mammals, because humans have an effective renal urate reabsorption system, despite their evolutionary loss of hepatic uricase by mutational silencing. The molecular basis for urate handling in the human kidney remains unclear because of difficulties in understanding diverse urate transport systems and species differences. Here we identify the long-hypothesized urate transporter in the human kidney (URAT1, encoded by SLC22A12), a urate anion exchanger regulating blood urate levels and targeted by uricosuric and antiuricosuric agents (which affect excretion of uric acid). Moreover, we provide evidence that patients with idiopathic renal hypouricaemia (lack of blood uric acid) have defects in SLC22A12. Identification of URAT1 should provide insights into the nature of urate homeostasis, as well as lead to the development of better agents against hyperuricaemia, a disadvantage concomitant with human evolution.
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              A causal role for uric acid in fructose-induced metabolic syndrome.

              The worldwide epidemic of metabolic syndrome correlates with an elevation in serum uric acid as well as a marked increase in total fructose intake (in the form of table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup). Fructose raises uric acid, and the latter inhibits nitric oxide bioavailability. Because insulin requires nitric oxide to stimulate glucose uptake, we hypothesized that fructose-induced hyperuricemia may have a pathogenic role in metabolic syndrome. Four sets of experiments were performed. First, pair-feeding studies showed that fructose, and not dextrose, induced features (hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and hyperuricemia) of metabolic syndrome. Second, in rats receiving a high-fructose diet, the lowering of uric acid with either allopurinol (a xanthine oxidase inhibitor) or benzbromarone (a uricosuric agent) was able to prevent or reverse features of metabolic syndrome. In particular, the administration of allopurinol prophylactically prevented fructose-induced hyperinsulinemia (272.3 vs.160.8 pmol/l, P < 0.05), systolic hypertension (142 vs. 133 mmHg, P < 0.05), hypertriglyceridemia (233.7 vs. 65.4 mg/dl, P < 0.01), and weight gain (455 vs. 425 g, P < 0.05) at 8 wk. Neither allopurinol nor benzbromarone affected dietary intake of control diet in rats. Finally, uric acid dose dependently inhibited endothelial function as manifested by a reduced vasodilatory response of aortic artery rings to acetylcholine. These data provide the first evidence that uric acid may be a cause of metabolic syndrome, possibly due to its ability to inhibit endothelial function. Fructose may have a major role in the epidemic of metabolic syndrome and obesity due to its ability to raise uric acid.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis
                International Journal of Nephrology and Renovascular Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7058
                2010
                24 November 2010
                : 3
                : 145-166
                Affiliations
                Division of Rheumatology, Cooper University Hospital, UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Camden, Camden, NJ, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Gerald F Falasca, Division of Rheumatology, 900 Centennial Blvd., Suite 201, Voorhees, NJ 08043, USA, Tel +1 856-325-6770, Fax +1 856-673-4510, Email falasca-gerald@ 123456cooperhealth.edu
                Article
                ijnrd-3-145
                10.2147/IJNRD.S6048
                3108771
                21694941
                © 2010 Dubchak and Falasca, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review

                Nephrology

                allopurinol, febuxostat, hyperuricemia, metabolic syndrome, tophi, colchicine

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