According to a study published August 22 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers have discovered how rheumatoid arthritis destroys bone. Thanks to these findings, new drug ideas are already in the works that will help to reverse the bone loss due to RA.
Among the immune chemicals known to play a central in autoimmune disease is tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), which ramps up the production of immune cells and chemicals as part of the bodys response to disease.
When overproduced in RA patients, TNF alpha signals for the destruction of cartilage and bone.
Beyond its control over immune cells, TNF alpha also influences bone mass. Human bone is continually regenerated to maintain strength. Under the control of signaling molecules which include TNF alpha, two cell types, balanced against each other, make bone recycling possible.
To read the rest of this article, click here.