Synthetic protein helps arthritis in mice

Oct. 3, 2005 at 5:53 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Federal scientists in Washington say a lab-made version of a human protein eases symptoms of both acute and chronic arthritis in mice.

The researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, part of the National Institutes of Health, said the protein prevents the assembly of a cell surface receptor, thus blocking transmission of chemical signals that lead to arthritis symptoms.

"This study opens a new research avenue to better understand and, perhaps, to treat rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that causes suffering in more than two million Americans," said NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Investigators from NIAID's Laboratory of Immunology, led by Dr. Michael Lenardo, published their findings in the October issue of Nature Medicine.

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