Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Tiny fish leading the way in a cure for gout

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2018


Tiny fish leading the way in a cure for gout

A popular aquarium fish that grows no longer than 4 cm could provide the breakthrough in treating and preventing extremely painful attacks of joint inflammation that are a key concern to patients with gout.

A popular aquarium fish that grows no longer than 4 cm could provide the breakthrough in treating and preventing extremely painful attacks of joint inflammation that are a key concern to patients with gout.

Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Inflammation associated with it leads to extreme pain, disability and poor health related quality of life. At present there is a clinical need for new anti-inflammatory treatments for gout as current therapies have limited success.

Acute gouty inflammation is triggered when urate crystals build-up in and around joints, activating the immune system and causing extreme joint inflammation and pain. Because this inflammation occurs in the joints under the skin, researchers have traditionally relied on examining tissue samples that only provide a static ‘snapshot’ of the disease process.

Utilising highly specialised microscopy, researchers at the University of Auckland have exploited the transparency of tiny zebrafish embryos to make dynamic movies of the immune system responding to urate crystals, for the first time within a whole animal.

Dr Chris Hall of the University’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences led the study (recently published in the high impact journal The Journal of Clinical Investigation) with several of his colleagues, including Professor Nicola Dalbeth, an academic rheumatologist in the faculty and an internationally recognised expert in gout research.

“Through this approach we have uncovered a previously unrecognised mechanism through which the immune system responds to urate crystals to drive inflammation,” Dr Hall says.

“We have also shown that our discovery translates to the human disease and that blocking this mechanism of immune cell activation represents a new strategy to alleviate gouty inflammation. This work directly addresses an unmet need to find new ways to treat the debilitating inflammation associated with gout.” Dr Hall says.

Dr Hall says the study is of particular significance to Aotearoa/New Zealand, as Māori and Pacific people have the highest prevalence of gout worldwide.

This work also recently received funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand in the 2017 funding round to exploit these new findings and identify new anti-inflammatory treatments for gout.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

'Visionary' Leaders: Primary Sector Council Announced

A group of visionary agribusiness leaders is set to help our primary sector capture more value from its work, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor says ... More>>

ALSO:

Land Report: Issues With Soil Degradation

An environmental report released today has found we are damaging and losing our soils and our native plants and animals. More>>

ALSO:

Water Quality Report: Cause For Optimism

National River Water Quality Trends released by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) this week, reveal that for all river water quality parameters monitored over a 10 year period, more sites were improving than deteriorating. More>>

ALSO:

IMF Report On NZ: Positive Economic Outlook

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has welcomed the IMF’s Concluding Statement, released following its annual visit, which provides an independent assessment of the strength of the New Zealand economy. More>>

ALSO:

Retail Power Price: Review Panel Named

The Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has released the details of who will sit on an expert advisory panel which is tasked with leading a review into the price of electricity in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Increasingly Disruptive Threats: Govt Cyber Security Refresh

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran today announced a comprehensive refresh of New Zealand’s approach to cyber security. More>>

ALSO:


Regional Growth: Action Plan To Modernise Taranaki’s Economy

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest up to $20 million to help future-proof the Taranaki region by diversifying its economy, creating additional jobs and leveraging off the strong base the region has established through its oil, gas and agricultural ... More>>

ALSO: