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1.  Is interleukin-1 a good target for therapeutic intervention in intervertebral disc degeneration: lessons from the osteoarthritic experience 
IL-1 plays a key role in disc degeneration and could be a valid target for inhibiting this process. IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) might be a good candidate to inhibit IL-1 activity. However, many questions need to be addressed before contemplating therapy in humans. IL-1 blockade is also a great challenge in osteoarthritis and results from animal models suggest that IL-1ra may have beneficial effects. The clinical benefit of a local injection of IL-1ra in knee osteoarthritis may be limited by the antagonist's short half-life. Further studies with longer-lasting antagonists are needed to explore this new therapeutic approach.
doi:10.1186/ar2324
PMCID: PMC2246235  PMID: 18086327
5.  The quest for the Holy Grail: a disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug 
The unfortunate story of the matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor PG116800, which had no effect on the osteoarthritic process but had unexpected side effects, highlights the following. First, reality does not always match the theory. Second, cell biology data must be interpreted within the context of a specific environment. Third, the specificity of an enzyme inhibitor is always relative. Finally, a critical evaluation of the benefit/risk ratio of a drug must be carefully conducted and checked before and after launch. Well designed post-marketing surveillance is mandatory.
doi:10.1186/ar2335
PMCID: PMC2246245  PMID: 18096086
6.  Association of ITGAV supports a role of angiogenesis in rheumatoid arthritis 
Motivated by linkage data and the hypothesis that angiogenesis plays a functional role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Jacq and colleagues present a family-based, multi-stage, candidate gene association study in French and European Caucasians in a paper on the association of the ITGAV rs3738919-C variant allele with RA (C-containing genotypes: odds ratio 1.94, confidence interval 1.3 to 2.9, P = 0.002). Support comes from a recent genome-wide study, which on its own would have missed identifying the association. Further research into the associating variant will require detailed haplotype analysis, verification in further studies, and research involving intermediate phenotypes or direct functional experiments. This new RA risk factor supports the role of angiogenesis in the disease.
doi:10.1186/ar2313
PMCID: PMC2212585  PMID: 18001496

Results 1-25 (228)