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'Master Switch' Behind Rheumatoid Arthritis Found

by VR Sreeraman on January 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM
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 'Master Switch' Behind Rheumatoid Arthritis Found

Scientists at Imperial College London have discovered a protein that triggers rheumatoid arthritis.

They have found a protein called IRF5 that acts as a switch, telling immune system cells, called macrophages, to promote or stop inflammation, reports the Daily Express.

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Rheumatoid arthritis is an incurable immune system disease where joints are swollen by inflammation.

The body uses inflammation as a defense against infection and tissue damage, but too much is harmful.

Blocking the production of IRF5 could help in a range of diseases including RA, lupus and even MS.

"This is really exciting," said senior researcher Irina Udalova.

Source: ANI
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