Targeting the cell-signalling protein lymphotactin as a novel pain relief strategy for osteoarthritis

Disease - Osteoarthritis

Lead applicant - Professor Fiona Boissonade

Organisation - University of Sheffield 

Type of grant - Full Application Disease 

Status of grant - Active from 21 July 2020

Amount of the original award - £369,867.00

Start date - 01 June 2020 

Reference - 22452

Public Summary  

What are the aims of this research? 

This research aims to investigate the role of the lymphotactin molecule in osteoarthritis pain. Lymphotactin is produced by immune cells in response to infection and inflammation, and works by binding to a specific protein, known as a receptor, on cell membranes. Recent research has shown that lymphotactin may be important in the development of osteoarthritis pain, and that blocking the actions of the receptor protein that it binds to may provide a novel route to treat chronic pain.

Why is this research important? 

The pain and disability caused by arthritis can have a major impact on patients’ quality of life, and current painkillers can be associated with significant side effects. Chronic pain remains a substantial problem for a large proportion of people with arthritis, meaning that there is significant clinical need for improved treatments.

The research will assess whether there is a link between the presence of lymphotactin, the receptor proteins and pain. The research will also study which type of cells lymphotactin and it’s receptor proteins are present in, and if blocking the effects of these proteins alters pain.

How will the findings benefit patients? 

The outcomes of this project will further our understanding of the mechanisms underlying arthritis pain and have the potential to identify a new pathway through which pain relief can be achieved in the longer term.