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Latest Research Reveals Protein That Plays Crucial Role in Joint Heath

By jeremyc | February 18, 2018

A recent study throws light at a possibly new way to treat and prevent osteoarthritis, which affects millions of people in the world, if not more.

In the U.S. alone, osteoarthritis affects over 30 million people. In this condition, there’s a cartilage breakdown. Cartilage does the all important work of cushioning our joints. More often than not, osteoarthritis affects the joints of the knee, hand, and hip.

In an earlier study, this team of researchers had noticed that levels of FoXO proteins are lower in joint cartilage. In this new study, the team focused on learning how out joints are affected by these proteins.

The latest study was done on mice. Compared to the control group, mice with reduced FoXO levels in joint cartilage experienced joint degradation considerably early.

When researchers investigated further, they found that the levels of lubricin were lower in mice with reduced FoXO levels. Lubricin is a protein that offers protection to our joints against damage due to regular use. These mice also showed reduced autophagy, a natural process through which our cells flush out components that are no longer needed to maintain good cell health.

On further investigation, the study authors found that these proteins play a role in controlling the gene expression of certain genes which control autophagy and inflammation and other activities necessary for joint health.

In the final part of the study, the researchers increased FoXO levels, which in turn reduced inflammation, improved autophagy, and boosted lubricin production.

 

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