Anti-Arthritis Drugs May Worsen Other Inflammatory Diseases

Some anti-arthritis drugs may be counterproductive.

New studies show that there are some anti-arthritis drugs that may actually exacerbate inflammatory diseases. A study in the American Journal of Pathology spotlights the impact of anti-arthritic drugs.

More than 60 years ago, adrenocorticotropic hormone was proven to be successful in treating rheumatoid and gouty arthritis. But now it is rarely used. Researchers now value the idea that the anti-inflammatory actions of ACTH are mediated through the peripheral melanocortin system on MC receptors that are shown in bone cells, immune cells and fibroblasts.

Research indicates that the activation of MC receptors by ACTH or other MC peptides produce a variety of protective actions to thwart bone loss. Some of these actions include matrix deposition, reduced osteoclast activation and increased proliferation of bone-forming cells.

Mice were first tested to see the impact on them. The researchers determined that there was a correlation in the bone loss in the jaw and the localized inflammation in the joints of mice. The other finding was that steroid therapy is related to bone density loss, osteoporosis and fractures. It was also determined that MC-based therapeutics could prevent the undesired actions.

The goal of this study was to showcase the simpler approach to drug development, which harnesses the possible endogenous anti-inflammatory mechanisms. The type of drugs that harness endogenous anti-inflammatory mechanism result in several advantages, including making way for the healing of injured tissue, and don’t result in many adverse effects.