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Interactive Research School For Health Affairs (IRSHA), Pune

Osteoarthritis Group


Dr. Abhay Harsulkar (Group Leader)

Osteoarthritis (OA) of knee is a degenerative disease with increasing incidence in India and all over the world. It is associated with restricted joint movement, pain and swelling, which eventually leads to complete debilitation and reduced quality of life. Unfortunately, there is no cure to this disease since cartilage loss is irreversible and its repair is insignificant. At present, patients are assisted only with anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs.

A unique collection of clinically annotated synovial fluids is established at IRSHA for analysis of different factors such as cytokines (markers for inflammation), glycosaminoglycan (cartilage degeneration product), Matrix Metalloproteinases and Tissue Inhibitor Metalloproteinases which are cartilage remodulation mediators.

Knee joint pain is the main reason for which most of the patients seek medical aid. It has been observed that when patient reach the doctor already much cartilage loss has been occurred and there is no prospect for effective arrest or reversal of cartilage degeneration. Thus, early diagnosis of OA is the need of the time. Present OA team organize ‘Knee-Help’ camps in Pune city and its outskirts with an objective to provide free counselling sessions which includes diagnostics and patient self-management of the disease. Patients with knee effusions are further aspirated to collect synovial fluids. The team has established successful collaborations with renowned orthopedic centers in Pune. At present, we are working to evaluate the effect of Omega-3 supplementation in OA. Anti-inflammatory potential of Omega-3s has been found beneficial to treat many chronic inflammatory diseases like OA. For this, we enroll OA patients from regional senior citizen clubs to create a required patient data-base.

Current Research projects

  • Mapping the biomarkers: Comprehensive evaluation of pathophysiology and nutraceutical intervention for improved knee Osteoarthritis to INNO INDIGO EU MS/ AC and India Joint Call on “Diagnostics and interventions in Chronic non-communicable diseases”. The present proposal meticulously addresses the key events associated with OA pathology using a multi-dimensional approach. The objective is to define early disease-stage new molecular pathophysiology and biomarkers for OA in order to develop new and effective therapeutic options.
  • Cultures and cell lines of synoviocytes has been established in our laboratory and cell based assays has been optimized. These assays are instrumental to study disease specific pathologies including cellular inflammatory and stress. Modulation of key genes pertinent with metabolism of the disease has also been studied. Based on these cell based assays the group has attracted industrial projects, where mechanistic evidences of efficacy of their products are evaluated. These assays also used effectively to investigate anti-osteoarthritic potential of herbal formulations with an objective to develop the evidence based medicines for OA.
  • Helping people with Osteoarthritis: A community level intervention with Omega-3 fatty acids. In the present proposal, we are focusing to study the effect of Omega-3 fatty acids in the management of knee OA on a larger patient base. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are known to regulate bone and cartilage cells differentiation. It is therefore envisaged that Omega 3 supplementation would have alleviating effect on OA.
  • Evaluation of a possible cross talk between TNF-α and TNAP using cell model and clinical findings. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study, which speaks about TNF-α modulated cartilage mineralization in OA using human synoviocytes.
  • Nutragenomics study of nutraceutical formulations. This project is developed in collaboration with TATA-Chemicals Ltd, Pune. The study explores Molecular Mechanism of Action (MOA) of curcumin molecular complexes, specifically in diseases like OA and Type-2-diabetes mellitus using appropriate cell lines and for wellness in general.

Publications: 94

Patents: 12

Ph.D.s awarded :07

Current Team

  • Prof. Abhay Harsulkar (Group Leader)
  • Dr. Shantanu Deshpande (Associate Professor)
  • Dr. Priya Kulkarni (Assistant Professor)
  • Mrs. Soumya Koppikar (Research Assistant)
  • Ms. Dhanashri Ingale (PhD student)
ICMR Centre for Advanced Research

Recognized “ICMR Centre for Advanced Research - Investigating mechanisms leading to preeclampsia” funded by Indian Council of Medical Research, Government of India. PI: Dr. Sadhana Joshi.

Nomination of Dr. Sadhana Joshi

Dr. Sadhana Joshi nominated to be part of an Expert Group formed to give recommendations to the State Project Directorate, Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan RUSA, Department of Higher & Technical Education, Government of Maharashtra on Value Added Courses for emerging & high demand sector of Wellness

Symposium

2nd David Barker Memorial Symposium on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) on Saturday 18th February 2017

CME by Ministry of AYUSH

CME on Basic Research Techniques for Ayurvedic PG Teachers Contact: Dr. Supriya Bhalerao - 27th February to 4th March 2017

World Obesity Day

On occasion of World Obesity Day, a workshop on Anthropometric assessment was organized by Obesity Research Lab, IRSHA on 13th October 2016. Dr. Sanjay Juvekar and Dr. Hemangi Lubree from Vadu Rural Health Program (VRHP), an initiative of KEM Hospital delivered a lecture on basic techniques of anthropometry followed by demonstration of the anthropometry assessment on volunteers by their team.

National Ayurveda Day

Ministry of AYUSH has declared Dhanateras to be celebrated as National Ayurveda Day. Prof. M S Baghel (Ex- Chairman, Ayurveda Chair University of Debrecan, Hungary) was the special invitee for the auspicious day. He threw light over the Ayurveda concepts of Diabetes, its consequences and its management. A lecture was delivered by Dr. Jyoti Shirodkar (Ayurvedic Diabetologist, Asso. Prof. Dept of Dravyaguna, TAMV) based on the theme Prevention and Control of diabetes using Ayurveda.

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