Does loss of the cartilage component Fibrillin-1 contribute to osteoarthritis development?

Disease - Osteoarthritis

Lead applicant - Dr Blandine Poulet

Organisation - University of Liverpool

Type of grant - Research Progression Award

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £58,622.45

Start date - 07 June 2019

Reference - 22451

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research? 

In osteoarthritis (OA), the cartilage which lines the joints is broken down, leading to pain and disability. There is currently no way of stopping this breakdown from happening and finding out what controls cartilage breakdown is important to develop new treatments which target this process. Fibrillin-1 is a protein which is found in joint cartilage and is thought to be broken down in osteoarthritis. This research aims to better understand the role of fibrillin-1 in normal and abnormal cartilage.

Why is this research important?

Current treatments for OA mainly involve pain management and joint replacement. The lack of therapies which are able to slow disease advancement is mainly due to the fact that it is still unclear what happens during osteoarthritis at the molecular level. This work will help to determine whether fibrillin-1 has potential as a target for new treatments for OA. This research will investigate the function and importance of fibrillin-1 both in maintaining the strength of human and mouse cartilage tissue and in the onset of osteoarthritis.

How will the findings benefit patients?

By understanding the changes in cartilage structure which lead to the development of osteoarthritis, it should be possible to find new ways to prevent the disease. Learning more about the role of fibrillin-1 in cartilage damage is an important part of this process.