Hello everyone! This edition is the second of October and brings with it a new quiz. The quiz covers both the last article and this article. Simply complete the quiz and you’ll be entered into a draw for a $10 Starbucks gift card!
For this week comes an exciting new article featuring an idea for treating arthritis!
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints that is currently not curable. Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tissue necrosis factor and interleukin 6 have been targeted by researchers with monoclonal antibodies as therapeutic targets. Interleukin 4 (IL-4), which is involved in type 2 T-helper cell responses and which drives naive T-helper cells away from type 1 T-helper inflammatory cell responses, has been tried in rheumatoid arthritis treatment but was unsuccessful due to the difficulty in localizing to target tissues. This study used antibody targeting of IL-4 to the arthritic sites (alternatively spliced extra domain A of fibronectin; EDA) and examined its effect as monotherapy and as combination therapy in a collagen-induced arthritis model in mice. Among the tested interventions, a notable success was seen with dexamethasone 100 mcg and the antibody-tagged IL-4 100 mcg F8-IL4 where they were able to eliminate the signs of arthritis (inflammation of paws, weight loss, etc) in all 9 animals along with many of the inflammatory cytokines (e.g. IL-10 or TNF) being normalized. While the clinical trials on humans are yet to come and the discrepancies in animal model and human pathophysiology are still to be overcome, this may be a breakthrough in the treatment of RA, especially given that dexamethasone is already used in the treatment of RA and murine and human EDA are targetable with the same antibody used in the experiment.
– Yohan Choi
B.Sc. (Pharm) Candidate 2016