Rheumatoid arthritic pain could be caused by antibodies
Antibodies that exist in the joints before the onset of rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain even in the absence of arthritis, writes Karolinska Institutet in a press release. The researchers believe that the finding, which is published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, can represent a general mechanism in autoimmunity and that the results can facilitate the development of new ways of reducing non-inflammatory pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when immune cells attack the cartilage and bone of the joints. The disease affects roughly one per cent of the Swedish population.
A common early symptom is joint pain, but even before that, the body has started to produce immune antibodies against proteins in the joint. In collaboration with researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Kim Kultima has studied how these autoantibodies can generate pain. The studies was recently published in Journal of Experimental Medicine.