Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic pain and inflammation in joints, such as those in the hands and feet, as well as knees and hips. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can destroy the cartilage that lubricates and cushions the joints. In essence, it 'remodels' bones, leading to disfigurement, pain and reduced mobility.
Cartilage was previously thought to be a victim of an overzealous immune system but a new paper finds it has an active role in rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr Tommy Liu, Professor Ian Wicks, Dr Kate Lawler, Dr Ben Croker and colleagues from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute made the discovery while investigating the role of the protein SOCS3 in controlling inflammation during rheumatoid arthritis.