A new study shares that tracking immune cells could potentially be able to assist in the identification of inflammatory arthritis.

According to the study conducted by the researchers of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases (CIID), there appears to be a connection between immune cells and inflammatory arthritis.

Senior author of the study Andrew Luster noted that inflammatory arthritis is the direct effect of immune cells that are "recruited from the blood into the joint" by means of a highly controlled procedure that is monitored by adhesion receptors and chemoattractants.

However, when the ailment becomes symptomatic, it becomes tough to ascertain what could have been the catalyst in the process of the immune cell recruitment in the joint, as well as what is the exact role of the various types of chemoattractants. The latest study is intended to gain a thorough understanding of this process, notes Luster.

By understating the process, scientists would be able to develop an effective treatment for inflammatory arthritis.

What Is Arthritis?

For the unfamiliar, arthritis is a disease where one or more joints get inflamed, which leads to swelling, stiffness, or soreness. The most common types of arthritis are inflammatory and non-inflammatory.

This disease is more frequently prevalent in women than men. Prior to the latest study, many experts opined that inflammatory arthritis may involve genetic or hormonal factors as well.

Rheumatoid or inflammatory arthritis can also occur in children alongside adults. Apart from joints, it can take a toll on other organs of a human body, such as eyes and lungs.

Living with inflammatory arthritis is a big challenge, even if the condition is treatable and there is no cure.

Findings Of The Study

The researchers have zoned in on the importance of the complement C5a molecule for immune cells dubbed neutrophils. This molecule gets the neutrophils to obey joint surfaces and travel to the joint. This process is the one that sets off the inflammatory cascade.

"The control of immune cell entry into the joint represents a major point at which new therapies could be developed to reduce the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis," says Luster.

The scientist also shared that the addition of imaging of the joints may aid in the understanding of the process of how a drug can have therapeutic effect. If it reveals that the joints have been affected by multiple chemoattractants, then the mechanism's understanding will enable the "rational design of combination therapies to completely shut down critical steps in the process."

The study has been published in the journal Science Immunology.

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