ICVS researchers develop a new animal model to study osteoarthritis

In a paper recently published in the scientific journal Pain, researchers from the Institute of Life and Health Sciences (ICVS) developed and validated a new animal model of experimental osteoarthritis that mimics the radiological progression of the disease, as well as the physical and emotional comorbidities associated with arthritic pain. In comparisons to those currently available, this model brings as its main advantage a slower disease progression like that observed in patients, with a lower impact on animal welfare.

The team’s next challenges, in collaborations with clinical and pharmaceutical teams, include finding new therapeutic targets and testing the effectiveness of innovative treatments to improve pain management and halt the progression of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease worldwide, affecting more than 250 million people, and is characterized by progressive degeneration of joints with a significant physical and emotional impact on the patient’s quality of life. Unfortunately, currently, no therapy is yet able to halt the disease progression and pain management strategies remain inadequate.

In addition to the first authors Diana Amorim and Diana Rodrigues, the study was performed through the collaboration of an international multidisciplinary team composed of researchers (Ana David-Pereira, Armando Almeida and Filipa Pinto-Ribeiro), doctors (Octávia Costa, Antónia Palhares Lima, Rosete Nogueira, Rute Cruz, Ana Sofia Martins, Liliana Sousa, Hélder Pereira and Antti Pertovaara), veterinarians (Francisco Oliveira) and biomedical engineers (Rogério Pirraco), funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology.