Arthritis Text

Though not overtly highlighted, individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may have a tough time engaging in day-to-day activities. A team from the Newcastle University has claimed that prohibiting harmful white blood cells from gaining an entry into the joints could be one way of dealing with rheumatoid arthritis.

Contrary to previous approaches, this method involved the agent namely PS372424 that impeded active T cells primarily responsible for the damage. This agent apparently prohibited the white blood cells from reaching the site of the disease.

The scientists demonstrated the aforesaid effect in a set of mice replicating the symptoms of human rheumatoid arthritis. As per the research, PS372424 seemed to integrate with a certain receptor called CXCR3, which is present only on active T cells. This led to targeting of just the T cells, practically leaving the other white blood cells untouched.

Lead author Dr Graeme O’Boyle commented, “Imagine that the damaged joint is covered in flags which are signaling to the white blood cells. Traditional treatments have involved pulling down the flags one by one but what we have done is use an agent which in effect ‘blindfolds’ the white blood cells. Therefore, they don’t know which way to travel and so won’t add to the damage.”

The investigators are of the opinion that this approach is more specific and therefore could be increasingly effective. Moreover, this treatment technique may not compromise on the working of the immune system in any way, they concluded.

The research is published in the journal, PNAS.