Paeoniflorin Reduces Inflammation in Arthritis by Targeting RNA

Greg Howard
12th May, 2024

Paeoniflorin Reduces Inflammation in Arthritis by Targeting RNA

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • A study from Jiangxi University found a molecule, hsa_circ_009012, that promotes inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis
  • Paeoniflorin, a traditional Chinese medicine, was shown to reduce this inflammation by affecting hsa_circ_009012 and related pathways
  • The findings suggest paeoniflorin could be a new treatment option for managing rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the joints, leading to pain, swelling, and eventual joint destruction. It affects millions worldwide and poses a significant public health challenge due to its prevalence, incidence, and the disability it causes[2]. While treatments have evolved, including the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic agents, the disease remains incurable, and many patients do not achieve remission[3]. Furthermore, managing RA patients undergoing surgery, such as hip or knee arthroplasty, requires careful consideration of antirheumatic drug therapy to balance the benefits and risks[4]. In light of the ongoing quest for improved RA management, a recent study from the Jiangxi University of Chinese Medicine has shed light on a potential new therapeutic avenue[1]. This study focuses on a molecule known as circular RNA (circRNA), specifically hsa_circ_009012, and its role in the inflammation process in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs), which are cells that line the joints and become activated in RA. CircRNAs are a type of non-coding RNA, meaning they do not code for proteins but can regulate gene expression. The study found that hsa_circ_009012 is highly expressed in RA-FLSs and that this overexpression promotes inflammation. This inflammation is facilitated through the miR-1286/toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) axis. TLR4 is a protein that plays a crucial role in the immune response and inflammation. Paeoniflorin (PF), a compound extracted from the root of Paeonia lactiflora, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is used in traditional Chinese medicine. The researchers investigated whether PF could influence the expression of hsa_circ_009012 and its downstream inflammatory pathway. They used real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and western blotting (WB) to assess RNA and protein expression levels, while cell inflammation markers were measured using RT-qPCR and immunofluorescence (IF). Additionally, they evaluated cell viability, cell cycle distribution, and migration through various assays. The results demonstrated that PF not only inhibited the inflammation in RA-FLSs but also decreased the expression of hsa_circ_009012 and TLR4. Conversely, it increased the expression of miR-1286. Interestingly, when hsa_circ_009012 was artificially upregulated, it counteracted the anti-inflammatory effects of PF, suggesting that PF's beneficial actions in RA might be through the suppression of hsa_circ_009012. These findings suggest that PF could be a potential treatment for RA by targeting the hsa_circ_009012/miR-1286/TLR4/NLRP3 axis to reduce inflammation. NLRP3 is another component involved in the inflammatory process, and the study indicates that this pathway is crucial in the progression of RA. This study builds upon previous research by providing a more detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms in RA[2][3]. By identifying the specific circRNA involved and how it interacts with other molecules to drive inflammation, this research offers a new target for drug development. The study also aligns with the need for early diagnosis and targeted treatment strategies highlighted in earlier findings[3]. It underscores the importance of personalized medicine in RA, where treatment can be tailored to the molecular profile of a patient's disease. In conclusion, the study by the Jiangxi University of Chinese Medicine presents a promising step towards novel RA treatments. By elucidating the role of hsa_circ_009012 in RA inflammation and the potential of PF to modulate this pathway, it opens up possibilities for new therapeutic strategies that could improve the lives of those affected by this debilitating disease. As research continues, these molecular insights pave the way for more effective and personalized approaches to RA management.



Main Study

1) Paeoniflorin inhibits the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synoviocytes by downregulating hsa_circ_009012.

Published 15th May, 2024 (future Journal edition)

Related Studies

2) Global, regional and national burden of rheumatoid arthritis 1990-2017: a systematic analysis of the Global Burden of Disease study 2017.

4) 2017 American College of Rheumatology/American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons Guideline for the Perioperative Management of Antirheumatic Medication in Patients With Rheumatic Diseases Undergoing Elective Total Hip or Total Knee Arthroplasty.

Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙