Plain Language Summary
This research provided evidence that melatonin improves rheumatoid arthritis (RA) conditions when tested on the CIA mouse model. Depending on the dose administered, melatonin was able to inhibit cytokines, specifically tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL)-1β expression, which causes inflammation. This attributes to the melatonin’s ability to downregulate three different signaling pathways, mainly, PI3K/AKT, ERK, and NF-κB. Through computational prediction software, this study identified that melatonin was also capable of upregulating the miR-3150s-3p expression. The increased expression of this microRNA led to the reduction of TNF-α and IL-1β production, eventually portraying anti-inflammatory properties in RA-induced CIA mice.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common inflammatory joint disorder caused by an auto-immune condition that leads to joint destruction and disability if left untreated. The existing RA drugs in the market, though target cytokines responsible for inflammation and progression of RA, are still not beneficial to some RA patients, while many eventually experience ineffectiveness in treatment over time. A hormone called melatonin exhibited promising traits in suppressing inflammatory biological pathways, intriguing many researchers to explore its properties as potential RA treatment further. This study was able to justify the positive effects of melatonin in inhibiting cartilage degradation and bone erosion at a molecular level. Apart from that, this study also established a positive connection between a specific microRNA expression induced by melatonin and the signaling pathways causing RA progression. The outcome of this study proved that melatonin has the potential to be used as adjuvant therapy for RA treatment. However, further clinical investigations are required.
The SDG Impact
According to the Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) Study, in 2017, approximately 20 million patients were said to be living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), with an annual diagnosis of over a million new cases. WHO categorizes rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as a chronic musculoskeletal disease, which could lead to immense pain, deformity, and disability. Alarmingly, if left untreated, almost 50% of the RA patients are unable to maintain employment. In alignment with Goal 3 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Good health and well-being, this study provides an opportunity to improve the healthcare services by providing adequate medical treatment for those suffering from RA. Also, this study could potentially reduce the prevalence of disability and discomfort caused by RA, thus promoting a better quality of life and mental well-being.