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Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients may Benefit from using Statin Drugs

January 30th 2006

Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients may Benefit from using Statin Drugs


Researchers from Japan have found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis may benefit from use of statin drugs.  These drugs have been used to lower cholesterol, but also may benefit arthritis sufferers because of their role in inflammation and other cellular processes, including the immune response. 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes the proliferation of synovial tissue, which lines the joints. Statins have been shown to cause apoptosis in both normal cells and tumor cells.  Apoptosis is another word for cell death.  Statins may induce apoptosis in synovial cells of patients with RA.

The study published in the February 2006 issue of the Arthritis & Rheumatism  journal, examines whether statins are able to induce apoptosis in synovial cells.  This may prove to be “novel way of treating the disease.”


The researchers said "In the present study, we demonstrated that fluvastatin (a fat soluable statin) induced apoptosis in synoviocytes from patients with RA, but not in those from patients with osteoarthropathy, suggesting that the apoptotic effect of fluvastatin is a mechanism for suppression of inflammatory arthritis such as RA by statins." 

The researchers were also  able “to determine the pathway by which apoptosis occurred: the inhibition of protein geranygeranylation (a process involving the metabolism of certain proteins that is essential for proper cell function, including the survival of vascular smooth muscle cells) was shown to be necessary for apoptosis to occur in these cells,” according to their press release.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are 2.1 million people in the US with RA.  The new study authors concluded that “Based on these results, we propose that the statins warrant clinical trials as potential modifiers of RA."

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

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Keywords and misspellings:  pane reumatoid rhumatoid rhumatoidal rheumatoidal arthritis arthrites pain

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:49 PM