Arthritis

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Calca and arthritis

Tazio Maleitzke, Johannes Keller

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects 1% of today`s world population and is characterized by chronic inflammation of the synovia and concomitant joint destruction, led by cartilage degradation and bone erosions. Modern therapeutic drug regimes can unfortunately only delay or partially halt bone erosions and cartilage degradation. Bone erosions, originating from an imbalance of bone formation and bone resorption, lead to severe joint deformities which are ultimately treated surgically by joint replacement. Trauma and orthopaedic surgeons often face difficult conditions when performing joint replacement surgeries due to the poor bone quality in RA patients. Calcitonin (CT), calcitonin-gene related peptide (CGRP) and procalcitonin (PCT), all encoded by their common gene Calca, have displayed lasting impacts on bone metabolism in fracture and inflammation models. Yet the role of Calca-derived peptides in RA has not been studied sufficiently so far. Our aim is to research and determine the effects of Calca-peptides in arthritic bone diseases. We want to better understand the connecting pathophysiology of bone erosions, Calca-peptides and RA and by that improve patient's bone quality and endoprosthetic outcomes in joint replacement surgery.