Rheumatoid Arthritis - Green Tea anti-inflammatory compound may inhibit Joint Inflammation

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Green Tea anti-inflammatory compound may inhibit Joint Inflammation

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[Best Syndication] Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System believe that a compound found in green tea may be therapeutic in preventing inflammation for people with rheumatoid arthritis. The result of the study was presented April 29th at the Biology 2007 conference in Washington, D.C.

The compound in green tea that looks like it has potent anti-inflammatory abilities is called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). They found that this compound inhibited the production of certain molecules in the immune system which cause inflammation. This inflammation is found in the joints in rheumatoid arthritis.

"Our research is a very promising step in the search for therapies for the joint destruction experienced by people who have rheumatoid arthritis," said Salah-uddin Ahmed, Ph.D., lead researcher on the study.

The green tea compound seemed to suppress the inflammation response in the connective tissue of rheumatoid arthritis patients.

The researchers isolated synovial fibroblast cells from the joints of rheumatoid arthritis patients. The fibroblasts were then cultured with a growth medium and were incubated with the green tea compound.

The researchers introduced the inflammatory protein cytokine IL-1ƒÒ which comes from the immune system. The inflammation is known to cause joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers also tested two other molecules, IL-6 and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which both involved with bone erosion process of rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers also tested the cytokine IL-1ƒÒ on fibroblasts that were not treated with the green tea compound. The untreated cells created a chain reaction of molecular events that created the bone-destructive molecules. The green tea compound treated cells inhibited the production of these molecules and repressed the making of prostaglandin E2, which causes inflammation of the joints.

Ahmed believes that EGCG or synthetic molecules made from EGCG could become a valuable therapy for rheumatoid arthritis patients by preventing inflammation of the joints.

The researchers will continue to study how EGCG inhibits inflammation and will look into gene expression. They also will conduct an animal study with EGCG to see if rheumatoid arthritis joint damage is prevented. If successful, it will lead to testing in humans with rheumatoid arthritis.

By Mark Barone
Best Syndication Writer

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