Role of the nerve protein TRPC5 in the development of pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis

Disease - Osteoarthritis, knee pain

Lead applicant - Professor Susan Brain

Organisation - King's College London

Type of grant - Research Award

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £236,144.23

Start date - 1 October 2017

Reference - 21524

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

This research project aims to identify whether a protein (TRPC5) found on nerves in and around the joint can be targeted to reduce the pain symptoms and damage seen in osteoarthritis.

Why is this research important?

Current pain relief drugs don't work well for all people with osteoarthritis and often result in a number of side effects, especially in older adults and those affected by other diseases. Therefore, it is clear we need to identify new targets for pain relief in order to provide more effective treatments.

Researchers have so far found two proteins on nerves in and around the joint called TRP proteins, which are important in the pain process of osteoarthritis. These work like a lock, opening in response to certain stimuli to allow transmission of a pain signal from the joint to the brain, and it’s for this reason they could be good targets for development of new painkillers.

A third TRP protein called TRPC5 has now been found to be important in protecting against pain and inflammation, and so the researchers will study people and mice with osteoarthritis to identify the role of this protein.

How will the findings benefit patients?

Findings of this research will help to see if and how TRPC5 protects against pain in osteoarthritis, and whether it is a suitable target for development of new drugs. Ultimately, understanding pain mechanisms in osteoarthritis, and identifying potential targets for treatment such as this, will allow for the development of new pain relief therapies that are more effective and produce less side effects.