New Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment on the Way?

Stiff and swollen joints may land some relief due to a newly discovered anti-inflammatory chemical compound.

Stiff and swollen joints may land some relief due to a newly discovered anti-inflammatory chemical compound.

A team from Montana State University acknowledged that some patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) do not respond to the currently available biological drugs, or “biologics” — either for a certain amount of time or forever. Stemming from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the researchers identified a compound that could lead to a treatment for the autoimmune disease.

“There is a real need to develop new kinds of drugs that are different,” senior author Mark Quinn, a MSU professor, said in a news release.

The researchers used a collagen-induced arthritis model to report on the effects of IQ-IS in mice. Published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the team synthesized the sodium salt of IQ-IS which proved to cause a delay of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) — a key player in T cell differentiation.

“Here we show that IQ-1S is highly specific for JNK and that its neutral form is the most abundant species at physiologic pH,” the authors wrote.

Using the chemical compound increased the number of regulatory T cells in the lymph nodes which is a reaction that suppresses inflammation. Furthermore, specific collagen-induced arthritis related antibodies also responded to the IQ-IS.

“Treatment with IQ-1S either before or after induction of CIA resulted in decreased clinical scores,” the study confirmed. “And joint sections from IQ-IS-treated CIA mice exhibited only mild signs of inflammation and minimal cartilage loss compared with those from control mice.”

Not only did the experiment find that IQ-IS eases inflammation, but it also inhibitors the loss of cartilage and bone. This new chemical compound could lead to medications that work with current drugs or serve as contemporary treatments.