Researchers report a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs that stop the progression of collagen-induced arthritis in mice. The drugs, described online in Immunology and Cell Biology, could be used for the treatment of similar diseases in humans, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder with unknown causes. Treatments for the disease are aimed at relieving pain and swelling, slowing disease progression and preventing cartilage and bone destruction. Geoffrey Pietersz, Mark Hogath and colleagues have designed a small chemical molecule based on the structure of FcgammaRIIa - a molecule known to have a pivotal role in causing inflammation associated with the disease. The team find that the new drug suppresses disease for longer than either of the current commonly used drugs - methotrexate and anti-CD3.
These findings in mice point to the potential of FcgammaRIIa receptor agonists as valid targets for new and potentially more effective therapies to prevent the progression of inflammatory diseases in humans.
Geoffrey Pietersz (Burnet Institute Austin Campus, Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia)
Abstract available online.
(C) Immunology and Cell Biology press release.
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