Deakin University
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Current and emerging therapeutic strategies for preventing inflammation and aggrecanase-mediated cartilage destruction in arthritis

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-09-26, 00:00 authored by Carolyn Dancevic, Daniel Mcculloch
Arthritis is a multifactorial disease for which current therapeutic intervention with high efficacy remains challenging. Arthritis predominately affects articular joints, and cartilage deterioration and inflammation are key characteristics. Current therapeutics targeting inflammatory responses often cause severe side effects in patients because of the systemic inhibition of cytokines or other global immunosuppressive activities. Furthermore, a lack of primary response or failure to sustain a response to treatment through acquired drug resistance is an ongoing concern. Nevertheless, treatments such as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, biological agents, and corticosteroids have revealed promising outcomes by decreasing pain and inflammation in patients and in some cases reducing radiographic progression of the disease. Emerging and anecdotal therapeutics with anti-inflammatory activity, alongside specific inhibitors of the A Disintegrin-like And Metalloproteinase domain with Thrombospondin-1 repeats (ADAMTS) cartilage-degrading aggrecanases, provide promising additions to current arthritis treatment strategies. Thus, it is paramount that treatment strategies be optimized to increase efficacy, reduce debilitating side effects, and improve the quality of life of patients with arthritis. Here, we review the current strategies that attempt to slow or halt the progression of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, providing an up-to-date summary of pharmaceutical treatment strategies and side effects. Importantly, we highlight their potential to indirectly regulate ADAMTS aggrecanase activity through their targeting of inflammatory mediators, thus providing insight into a mechanism by which they might inhibit cartilage destruction to slow or halt radiographic progression of the disease. We also contrast these with anecdotal or experimental administration of statins that could equally regulate ADAMTS aggrecanase activity and are available to arthritis sufferers worldwide. Finally, we review the current literature regarding the development of synthetic inhibitors directed toward the aggrecanases ADAMTS4 and ADAMTS5, a strategy that might directly inhibit cartilage destruction and restore joint function in both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.



Arthritis research and therapy





Article number



1 - 11


BioMed Central


London, England







Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2014, BioMed Central