Relationship between the development of arthritis in the elderly and a deficiency of the Klotho protein in cartilage
It has become clear to molecular biologists in the US that one of the causes of arthritis in the knee joint in the elderly is insufficient production of the Klotho protein, which regulates the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
The journal Nature Communications indicates that approximately one in 15 people on Earth suffer from some form of arthritis and degenerative joint disease. The development of these infections leads to irreversible damage to the cartilage of the joints, which causes a constant sensation of pain. This process is associated with the development of inflammation and the penetration of immune cells into the cartilage. However, the mechanism of development of arthritis is still not clear.
American scientists studied cartilage models of elderly people with arthritis, and also conducted experiments on laboratory mice aged from 4 months to two years and took samples of articular cartilage. According to researchers, the state of articular cartilage during this period of rat life corresponds to the state of human articular cartilage at the age of 20-69 years.
The results of the analysis of cartilage tissue showed that the development of arthritis in 95 percent of cases is accompanied by suppression of the activity of the genes responsible for the production of the Klotho protein.
The researchers found that this protein also plays a role in protecting cartilage from mechanical damage and in suppressing inflammation, which contributes to the development of age-related arthritis.
Biologists are currently studying why the genes responsible for the production of Klotho protein molecules are gradually downregulated in chondrocytes with age. Because understanding this will allow the creation of treatments that prevent or slow down the degeneration of cartilage in the knee joint in older people.