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Glycobiology May Play Important Role in Development of Osteoarthritis

By December 17, 2012

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Researchers at the University Department of Orthopaedics at the MedUni have turned their attention to glycobiology in orthopaedics and may have discovered a factor relevant to the development of osteoarthritis. First of all, what is glycobiology? Glycobiology studies the role of sugar chains in various cellular reactions within the body.

According to a report in ScienceDaily, researchers have found that certain sugar-binding proteins, known as lectins, and specifically galectins, play some role in osteoarthritis. It was discovered that production of galectins increases as cartilage damage worsens in a joint. Galectins trigger degenerative and inflammatory processes in cartilage cells. Future studies will determine if galectins can be used as biomarkers or to produce new treatments

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