Disjointed: Cell Differences May Explain Why Rheumatoid Arthritis Varies By Location

Findings point to new approaches in targeted therapies so that what works for arthritic hands may not be the same for ailing hips —

Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Pennsylvania and China, report that not only are there distinct differences in key cellular processes and molecular signatures between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) but, more surprisingly, there are joint-specific differences in RA. The findings help explain, in part, why drugs treating RA vary in effect – why, for example, a treatment that might work in arthritic knees isn’t effective in an arthritic hip – and provide a potential new template for precisely targeting treatment for each and every ailing joint. … Read the Full Story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Gary Firestein

Dr. Gary S. Firestein

Gary S. Firestein, MD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, is co-corresponding author of the study report with Wei Wang, PhD, professor in the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at UC San Diego.

Dr. Firestein is Director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) and Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine for UC San Diego.

A Department of Medicine faculty coauthor of the report is David L. Boyle, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology and Co-Director, Translational Research Technology, CTRI.

Read the study report (UC San Diego Only)