MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that approximately 480,000 West Virginians suffer from arthritis, the most common cause of disability in the U.S. New research out of the West Virginia University School of Medicine may eventually lead to new drugs that could help relieve arthritis sufferers’ pain and joint damage.
David Siderovski, Ph.D., the E.J. Van Liere Endowed Professor and Chair of the WVU Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, is the senior author on a National Institutes of Health-funded study published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology titled “G protein-coupled receptor kinase-3 deficient mice exhibit WHIM syndrome features and attenuated inflammatory responses.” WHIM syndrome (Warts, Hypogammaglobulinemia, Infections and Myelokathexis syndrome) is a rare, congenital disease of the immune system.
Dr. Siderovski and his research colleagues found that a mouse strain with similar genetic problems to patients with WHIM syndrome had a built-in protection against arthritis development because a particular gene – GRK3 – was missing. As a result, Siderovski believes that developing a drug to inhibit GRK3 could help decrease arthritis in humans.