Natural Protein Protects Against Inflammation, Bone Destruction
Posted Jan 17 2011 5:48pm
Research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry into the effects of a naturally occurring protein, known as TSG-6, is being touted as a major advance in the understanding of tissue regeneration and repair.
TSG-6 is a protein product of tumor necrosis factor alpha simulated gene-6 that is produced by the body in response to inflammation, such as in arthritic joints. TSG-6 is often found in the synovial fluid and cartilage in the joints of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients. There have been previous animal studies that have shown that TSG-6 protects against inflammation and destruction of cartilage.
Researchers from the University of Oxford, Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago, the University of Manchester and Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv conducted a laboratory study on human and mice cells, and in live mice. They were attempting to gain a better understanding of the TSG-6 anti-inflammatory and protective properties. They believed that TSG-6 prevents the actions of osteoclasts, cells that cause bone destruction by a process of bone resorption.
According to team member Dr. Afsie Sabokbar of the University of Oxford, “Bone formation and bone breakdown are happening all the time and we now have good evidence that TSG-6 normally works to maintain a balance between these two processes.
“Our latest research, using cells grown in culture, shows that in inflammatory conditions, TSG-6 can inhibit the erosion of bone. This suggests that it might halt the excessive erosion that occurs in conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.”
Although the teams are currently investigating how TSG-6 works at the molecular level, it will be some time before any treatment therapies will be developed as a result of this study. It does appear, though, that TSG-6 does not interfere with the body’s other anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
“Our latest research, using cells grown in culture, shows that in inflammatory conditions, TSG-6 can inhibit the erosion of bone. This suggests that it might halt the excessive erosion that occurs in conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis” added Professor Tony Day from the University of Manchester.
The research is funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign (ARC), the fourth largest medical research charity in the UK and the only charity in the UK solely dedicated to investigating arthritis in all its forms.