Galectin 9 rebuilds cartilage

There is an urgent demand for long-term solutions to improve osteoarthritis treatment in the ageing population. There are drugs that control pain but none that stop the progression of the disease in a safe and effective way. Increased intervention efforts, augmented by early diagnosis and integrated physical therapies are therefore needed. We propose a novel, multi-disciplinary approach to heal damaged cartilage tissue. We will focus on a natural protein termed galectins and determine their potential therapeutic effects in joint cartilage taken from patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery. Tissue from specific age groups will be examined for changes in galectin levels. In parallel, application of the protein and physical therapy to reverse damage and induce cartilage repair will be tested. We (Chowdhury and Dr Dianne Cooper, WHRI) are adamant that detailing this novel biology will provide new cues to treat damaged cartilage in the elderly.