A University of Manchester biologist has for the first time established that the painful and debilitating symptoms endured by osteoarthritis sufferers are intrinsically linked to the human body clock.
- Symptoms of osteoarthritis linked to human body clock
- Study could in years to come pave the way for drug treatment
- As we age, our cartilage cell body clocks deteriorate
The study, led by Dr Qing-Jun Meng, who is a Senior Research Fellow for Arthritis Research UK, could in the years to come, pave the way for drug treatment of the joint condition that affects 8 million people in the UK.
His research findings, jointly funded by Arthritis Research UK and the Medical Research Council (MRC), are published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
He said: “Despite the best efforts of doctors and scientists, we have a poor understanding of osteoarthritis: sadly, pain relief and joint replacement surgery seem to be the only option for patients.
“So the prospect of fundamental treatment is very exciting- even though it’s still probably years away.”
Dr Meng discovered that body clocks within cartilage cells – or chondrocytes- control thousands of genes which segregate different biological activities at different times of the day.
The body clock, he realised, controls the equilibrium between when chondrocyte cells are repaired during rest and when they are worn down through activity.
But his research revealed that as we age, our cartilage cell body clocks deteriorate, making the repair function insufficient, which could contribute to osteoarthritis.
Despite the best efforts of doctors and scientists, we have a poor understanding of osteoarthritis: sadly, pain relief and joint replacement surgery seem to be the only option for patients. So the prospect of fundamental treatment is very exciting- even though it’s still probably years away.
Dr Qing-Jun Meng
Dr Meng’s team examined three types of human cartilage under the microscope : normal, mildly affected by osteoarthritis and severely affected.
As the osteoarthritis became more severe, the number of cells that express BMAL1 – a protein which controls the body clock – became less and less.
And in terms of aging, he found similar reduction of BMAL1 in chondrocytes, which coincided with the reduced ‘amplitude’ of the body clock (up to 40% weaker in older mice), supporting the theory that aging, at least partially through dysregulation of the chondrocyte clocks, is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis.
Chronic inflammation is another factor which can increase the risk of contracting the disease, according to Dr Meng.
And in an American study on mice he participated in earlier in the year, weekly reversal of the light dark cycle, a condition that simulated rotating shift work or severe jet lag, could also disrupt the body clock- making the disease more of a risk.
He added: “Now we have identified a link between the human body clock and osteoarthritis, this could unlock the prospect of drugs which reset the body clock mechanism.
“Scientists are already developing drugs which can act in this way for other conditions. Now, osteoarthritis can be part of this effort.
“But there are other body clock related approaches which can help osteoarthritis sufferers: eating and exercising at set regular times each day is also something we think is a good idea.
“Using heat pads that approximate body temperature changes in cartilage tissue – which are too governed by the body clock- are also potentially useful.”
Professor Ray Boot-Handford, who is also a senior author of this study, commented: “This study, delivered by an international team led by Dr Meng, demonstrates the important role the body clock plays in keeping our joints healthy. The findings open up new avenues for understanding and developing treatments for osteoarthritis.”
Stephen Simpson, director of research and programmes at Arthritis Research UK said: “Many people with arthritis find that their symptoms get worse at certain times of the day and the results of this interesting and exciting study reveal a likely biological basis to this effect.
The Latest on: Body clock
via Google News
The Latest on: Body clock
Los Angeles: Where your body goes to die in a pool of sweat
on May 24, 2019 at 7:41 pm
I felt like my body was cooking. The sweat was like nothing I’d ever ... West Hollywood is home to a number of restaurants and bars where there’s a good chance you’ll clock a celebrity on a night out. ... […]
Woman Keeps Hearing Strange Beeping, Realizes It’s Coming From Inside Her Body
on May 24, 2019 at 8:57 am
It turns out, it was an alarm clock stuck in the family’s wall ... It was coming from inside my BODY!!! I was BEEPING! Eight years ago, I suffered sudden cardiac arrest while I was out running. ... […]
Is listening to our internal body clock the key to getting a better night's sleep?
on May 24, 2019 at 8:55 am
When it comes to getting a good night sleep, most of us are guilty of flouting the rules. Staying up for just-one-more-episode, chugging the caffeine post 4pm and scrolling Insta pre lights out. ... […]
Scientists ‘racing against the clock’ to collect crucial data on life in Antarctica
on May 23, 2019 at 8:10 am
“We’ve been sampling since last November, getting the body condition and sex ratio of animals that ... “We’re really racing against the clock in a lot of ways to generate a baseline for how these ... […]
Carol Kirkwood: BBC weather replacement tells her ‘get in here’ amid body clock complaint
on May 23, 2019 at 5:18 am
Carol Kirkwood, 56, regularly delivers the latest weather forecasts on BBC Breakfast but was noticeably absent from today’s show. The meteorologist took to Twitter this morning and revealed her body ... […]
Lenovo Smart Clock with Google Assistant now on pre-order for $80, five months after launch
on May 22, 2019 at 6:07 am
Read Also: Amazon launches the $29.99 Echo Wall Clock that can pair with the Echo smart speakers The body of the clock is wrapped in a soft grey fabric, which looks stylish and attractive. Lenovo’s ... […]
How Body Language Can Impact Your Business Success
on May 22, 2019 at 4:08 am
They say that body language is more than 50% of communication ... witnessed someone checking their cell phone during a meeting or continuously looking at the clock. Inattentiveness is difficult to ... […]
Scientists are 'racing against the clock' to collect crucial data on life in Antarctica
on May 21, 2019 at 7:24 pm
"We’ve been sampling since last November, getting the body condition and sex ratio of ... "We’re really racing against the clock in a lot of ways to generate a baseline for how these animals ... […]
Men have biological clocks, too. Should they stop the tick-tock by banking sperm?
on May 18, 2019 at 6:57 am
While a vast body of research has correlated the mother's age with reproductive ... and reproductive medicine specialist who wrote a book about the male biological clock, said the increased ... […]
Heart Attacks in AM, Fever in PM: How Your Body Clock Works
on May 17, 2019 at 3:33 pm
Many diseases have regular daily variations in risk or symptoms tied to the body’s internal clock. Share on Pinterest Your circadian rhythms can affect your health throughout the day. Getty Images ... […]
via Bing News