Understanding the role of specific joint cells in localised joint pain and inflammation to develop targeted treatments

Disease - Osteoarthritis

Lead applicant - Dr Simon Wyn Jones

Organisation - University of Birmingham

Type of grant - Special strategic award

Status of grant - Approved

Amount of the original award - £450,122.50

Start date - 01 May 2022

Reference - TBC

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

Researchers will explore the relationship between the presence and location of pain-associated synovial fibroblasts (a type of joint cell) with patient-reported pain and joint inflammation, in order to develop novel treatments to target osteoarthritic pain.

Why is this research important?

Osteoarthritis is a painful joint condition and a leading cause of disability. In order to develop a more effective pain relief, it is important to understand the complex mechanisms of osteoarthritis. The researchers have previously found that cells within the synovial tissue (known as synovial fibroblasts) influence the inflammation and severity of pain within the joint. Self-reported pain was found to be linked with the location and type of fibroblasts present in the joint. This current study will further explore current findings and possible ways to target new pain-relieving treatments to these cells.

How will these findings benefit patients?

Current treatments for osteoarthritis pain are not always effective and may be associated with adverse side effects. Understanding the relationship between inflammation and cells of the synovial joint and patient reported pain could lead to the development of new treatments aimed to alleviate pain associated with osteoarthritis.