Previous research has shown that adipose tissue altered through obesity secretes proteins called cytokines and adipokines, which are known to promote inflammation in the body.
The recently published study notes that in cells from biopsies of arthritic joints, obesity also alters the environment within the joint itself, making joint cells susceptible to “transformation” into inflammation-promoting cells.
Dr Susan Wijesinghe, of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Inflammation and Aging, said:We found that obesity can lead to a change in the environment of the joint itself: it can promote the kind of destructive inflammation in joints that far exceeds what one would expect from a sole wear, even in joints that don’t support weight like the hands.. »
Obesity creates an environment in the body that negatively affects cells called synovial fibroblasts, which are cells involved in regulating joint lubricating fluid.
These cells are re-encoded, which promotes the development of inflammation in the fluid surrounding the joints. These affected cells, in turn, affect the entire joint, increasing the release of chemicals, which leads to deterioration of the joint and further development of arthritis.
The research team used biopsy data from a range of joints, including weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees, as well as the hands, to determine whether the extra physical stress on the joints associated with obesity triggered pro-inflammatory cytokines (Rssels).
The results showed that obesity had independent effects on weight-bearing and weight-bearing joints, and that in 16 patients with a BMI greater than 30, weight alone did not explain the molecular changes in these joints.
Zoe Chivers, director of services and impact at the charity Against Arthritis, said: This study provides further evidence that osteoarthritis is not simply an inevitable wear and tear, but is the result of complex and diverse biochemical changes in the joint. These findings greatly improve our understanding of the causes of osteoporosis, bringing us closer to finding more effective treatments in the future. “.
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