Research ArticleOsteoarthritis

TGF-β type 2 receptor–mediated modulation of the IL-36 family can be therapeutically targeted in osteoarthritis

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Science Translational Medicine  08 May 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 491, eaan2585
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan2585

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Joy for joints

Disease-modifying drugs are lacking for osteoarthritis (OA), a disease due to cartilage erosion in joints. Li et al. used multiple mouse models and samples from patients with OA to discern cytokine pathways involved in the development of disease. Heightened IL-36 was detected during joint destruction, and TGFBR2 signaling in healthy joints dampened IL-36 signaling. TGF-β inhibition would have widespread effects, so the authors focused on the IL-36 family as a target. Injection of an IL-36 receptor antagonist into mouse knees ameliorated OA. The IL-36 receptor antagonist also prevented secretion of damaging metalloproteases from human chondrocytes in vitro. These findings suggest that targeting IL-36 signaling may bring relief for patients suffering from OA.