March 10, 2011
Over the last 20 years research in rheumatology has focused on identifying cytokines (cell-signaling protein molecules secreted by the glial cells of the nervous system), leading to the inflammatory and degenerative processes in rheumatoid arthritis. The focus has been on TNF, tumor necrosis factor, the molecule responsible for the inflammatory process. TNF was discovered by Arthritis National Research Foundation board member and former grantee Dr. Gale Granger at UC Irvine. The molecule created and used in this study, Atsttrin, is an antagonist of TNF signaling via targeting to TNF receptors. Atsttrin is a peptide constructed from segments of proteins that originate within a cell, which has a high affinity and specificity for binding to TNF receptors.
The researchers suggest that this progranulin-derived protein could result in alternative treatments to those suffering from chronic autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s diseases, ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The creation of this new protein offers promise for an increased quality of life for millions suffering in America and around the world.
Source NYU Langone Medical Center Press Release