Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) have identified a new cell signaling pathway that contributes to the development and progression of inflammatory bone erosion, which occurs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Bone erosion in joints is a major cause of disability in RA patients. The findings were published online this month in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Earlier research identified a variant in a gene called RBP-J that is associated with the development of RA, but its specific role was unknown. The study authors believe that their success in discovering the RBP-J controlled signaling pathway will provide potential novel therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of RA, thus opening a new avenue for both basic research and clinical care.
A news story about the study may be read here.