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      Osteoarthritis - an untreatable disease?

      Nature reviews. Drug discovery

      Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, chemistry, pharmacology, therapeutic use, Drug Design, Humans, Molecular Structure, Osteoarthritis, drug therapy, epidemiology, etiology, Pain

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          Abstract

          Osteoarthritis is a painful and disabling disease that affects millions of patients. Its aetiology is largely unknown, but is most likely multi-factorial. Osteoarthritis poses a dilemma: it often begins attacking different joint tissues long before middle age, but cannot be diagnosed until it becomes symptomatic decades later, at which point structural alterations are already quite advanced. In this review, osteoarthritis is considered as a disease of the whole joint that may result from multiple pathophysiological mechanisms, one of which is the dysregulation of lipid homeostasis. No proven disease-modifying therapy exists for osteoarthritis and current treatment options for chronic osteoarthritic pain are insufficient, but new pharmacotherapeutic options are emerging.

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          Most cited references 91

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          Cyclooxygenases 1 and 2.

           Y Bakhle,  J R Vane,  R Botting (1997)
          Cyclooxygenase (COX), first purified in 1976 and cloned in 1988, is the key enzyme in the synthesis of prostaglandins (PGs) from arachidonic acid. In 1991, several laboratories identified a product from a second gene with COX activity and called it COX-2. However, COX-2 was inducible, and the inducing stimuli included pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors, implying a role for COX-2 in both inflammation and control of cell growth. The two isoforms of COX are almost identical in structure but have important differences in substrate and inhibitor selectivity and in their intracellular locations. Protective PGs, which preserve the integrity of the stomach lining and maintain normal renal function in a compromised kidney, are synthesized by COX-1. In addition to the induction of COX-2 in inflammatory lesions, it is present constitutively in the brain and spinal cord, where it may be involved in nerve transmission, particularly that for pain and fever. PGs made by COX-2 are also important in ovulation and in the birth process. The discovery of COX-2 has made possible the design of drugs that reduce inflammation without removing the protective PGs in the stomach and kidney made by COX-1. These highly selective COX-2 inhibitors may not only be anti-inflammatory but may also be active in colon cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
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            Leptin.

            The discovery of the adipose-derived hormone leptin has generated enormous interest in the interaction between peripheral signals and brain targets involved in the regulation of feeding and energy balance. Plasma leptin levels correlate with fat stores and respond to changes in energy balance. It was initially proposed that leptin serves a primary role as an anti-obesity hormone, but this role is commonly thwarted by leptin resistance. Leptin also serves as a mediator of the adaptation to fasting, and this role may be the primary function for which the molecule evolved. There is increasing evidence that leptin has systemic effects apart from those related to energy homeostasis, including regulation of neuroendocrine and immune function and a role in development.
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              The role of subchondral bone remodeling in osteoarthritis: reduction of cartilage degeneration and prevention of osteophyte formation by alendronate in the rat anterior cruciate ligament transection model.

              It has been suggested that subchondral bone remodeling plays a role in the progression of osteoarthritis (OA). To test this hypothesis, we characterized the changes in the rat anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) model of OA and evaluated the effects of alendronate (ALN), a potent inhibitor of bone resorption, on cartilage degradation and on osteophyte formation. Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent ACLT or sham operation of the right knee. Animals were then treated with ALN (0.03 and 0.24 microg/kg/week subcutaneously) and necropsied at 2 or 10 weeks postsurgery. OA changes were evaluated. Subchondral bone volume and osteophyte area were measured by histomorphometric analysis. Coimmunostaining for transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta), matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), and MMP-13 was performed to investigate the effect of ALN on local activation of TGF beta. ALN was chondroprotective at both dosages, as determined by histologic criteria and collagen degradation markers. ALN suppressed subchondral bone resorption, which was markedly increased 2 weeks postsurgery, and prevented the subsequent increase in bone formation 10 weeks postsurgery, in the untreated tibial plateau of ACLT joints. Furthermore, ALN reduced the incidence and area of osteophytes in a dose-dependent manner. ALN also inhibited vascular invasion into the calcified cartilage in rats with OA and blocked osteoclast recruitment to subchondral bone and osteophytes. ALN treatment reduced the local release of active TGF beta, possibly via inhibition of MMP-13 expression in articular cartilage and MMP-9 expression in subchondral bone. Subchondral bone remodeling plays an important role in the pathogenesis of OA. ALN or other inhibitors of bone resorption could potentially be used as disease-modifying agents in the treatment of OA.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                15803196
                10.1038/nrd1693

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