Arthritis: Hormone Therapy Could Ease Pain
Reported April 02, 2010
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Concentrations of the sex hormones --
testosterone in men and estrogen in women -- may have a positive effect on
the regenerative potential of cartilage tissue and could be a potential
treatment for late stage osteoarthritis (OA).
Free moving joints such as the knee and hip produce smooth and painless limb
movement when there is adequate transmission of forces between the bones and
joint cartilage. Disturbances in joint architecture caused by trauma,
abnormal load, endocrine diseases such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, or
inflammatory conditions may result in OA. Worldwide estimates say 9.6
percent of men and 18 percent of women 60 years and older have OA symptoms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that by 2020, OA will be the
fourth leading cause of disability.
Nicolai Miosge, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from the August University in
Goettingen, Germany, examined the regenerative potential of chondrogenic
progenitor cells (CPCs) that are present in arthritic tissue during the late
stages of OA. The research team speculated that these CPCs might be
influenced by sex steroids, and therefore hormone replacement therapy
directed to the joint fluid could be beneficial in restoring damaged tissue.
Researchers analyzed tissue samples from 372 patients who underwent total
Estrogens are known to influence bone metabolism and researchers found that
estradiol (E2), which increases calcium deposition in both sexes, was
present in the joint fluid of study participants. CPCs positive for estrogen
receptors as well as androgen receptors were present in the OA tissue as
well. Both estrogen and testosterone influenced the expression of all 3
receptor genes and the CPCs by regulating gene expression.
"We were able to isolate CPCs in 95.48 percent of female patients and 96.97
percent of male patients, making these cells a good target for future
therapeutic intervention for a very large number of OA patients," Dr. Miosge
was quoted as saying. "Hormone replacement therapy in joint fluid may help
mitigate the effects of OA and further investigation is needed."
SOURCE: Arthritis & Rheumatism, April 2010