Identifying the role of lncRNAs in inflammatory pain of osteoarthritis

Disease - Osteoarthritis

Lead applicant - Dr Simon Jones

Organisation - University of Birmingham

Type of grant - Research Award

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £228,668.15

Start date - 1 November 2017

Reference - 21530

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are molecules that control genes, and in osteoarthritis they have been linked to controlling the inflammatory response, which is known to cause pain. This project aims to determine the relationship between lncRNAs present in the joint lining and pain in people with knee osteoarthritis. This could aid the development of new pain relief treatments.

Why is this research important?

Inflammation of the joint lining is called synovitis, and contributes to the severity of pain felt in people with osteoarthritis. As current methods of pain relief don’t work for all people with osteoarthritis it is important to determine what controls this inflammation so new targets for pain relief drugs can be identified.

One potential group of molecules that could be targeted by pain relief drugs are lncRNAs, as they are key in controlling inflammation in osteoarthritis. The researchers will use people and mice with osteoarthritis to see whether the same lncRNAs that control inflammation can also cause pain, and whether changing their activity leads to pain relief.

How will the findings benefit patients?

Findings from this research will determine whether lncRNA activity can be targeted to help relieve osteoarthritic pain. If successful, this could allow for the development of a personalised, safe and effective new drug that specifically reduces pain in people with osteoarthritis.