Scientists have identified a natural substance affecting inflammation customerentity arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease, mainly affecting joints and causing disability and worsening of quality of life of many patients. Effective treatment methods of this pathology are not well developed, and available drugs often have side effects. Interestingly, 50-75% of women with rheumatoid arthritis note the natural improvement of the condition of the joints during pregnancy.
A group of scientists from the United States and Denmark, led by Damini Jawahir (Damini Jawaheer) revealed a possible link between interferon type I (IFN-1) and natural improvement of the health of pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis. A new study published in the journal “Arthritis Research & Therapy”.
To find out what affects the severity of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy, the researchers investigated the genome of the women. The activity of genes displays their “behavior” and shows what biological changes occur in the body. Depending on the needs of the body at a specific point in time a gene may be “switched on” or “off”, and change activity, which leads to development of different amounts of protein, explained the researchers.
Study participants were divided into 3 groups: 1 — healthy women, 2nd- patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have reduced the severity of joint inflammation during pregnancy, 3-I — patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have increased the severity of joint inflammation during pregnancy. The researchers compared the activity of all genes in the III trimester and before pregnancy for all study participants.
Most biological changes have occurred in all women who participated in the study. It was a normal change associated with pregnancy. However, participating in the 2nd and 3rd groups showed specific changes of gene activity. The researchers compared them. It turned out that the behavior of a small number of genes changed in the opposite way the women of the 2nd and 3rd groups, and the activity of these genes is regulated by IFN-1. Scientists came to the conclusion that this substance can be responsible for the natural improvement of patients with rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy.
It is known that IFN-1 plays a contradictory role in the development of autoimmune diseases. For example, its activation in systemic lupus erythematosus associated with deterioration of patients ‘ condition, in multiple sclerosis — improvement. Studies involving animals and cell cultures have shown that IFN-1 plays a protective role in rheumatoid arthritis, however, for the person received contradictory data.
Scientists plan to continue research in this direction. Their main goal is to develop a successful strategy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.