JointHealth™ express   April 27, 2023

Determining how cellular sugars can cause arthritis

In this episode of Arthritis At Home, Ellen Wang, Programs Coordinator, Arthritis Consumer Experts, speaks to Dr. Simon Wisnovsky, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia. His team was awarded a Ignite Innovation Grant from Arthritis Society Canada for their project titled “Characterizing aberrant autoantibody glycosylation as a driver of inflammatory arthritis pathogenesis”.

Dr. Wisnovsky explains the role of sugar molecules in the body’s immune system and how they act as signals for good and bad inflammation. Our immune systems produce antibodies that bind to invading germs and prevent them from causing disease. Sometimes, however, our immune systems can mistakenly produce antibodies that bind to our own tissues – called autoantibodies. This happens in autoimmune diseases like inflammatory arthritis. In many people, autoantibodies become unusually decorated with complex sugar molecules. These sugars may affect the development of arthritis, but the connection is not well understood. Through their research, Dr. Wisnovsky and his team hope to uncover the complex pathways that drive auto-immunity. Thank you to Arthritis Society Canada for supporting innovations like these!

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