A Network on Clinics and Pathophysiology of Osteophytes and Ankylosis (ANCYLOSS)
Degenerative rheumatic diseases, such as osteoarthritis (OA) and inflammatory rheumatic diseases, like ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) lead to progressive changes of the joint architecture. Aside pain, which is a hallmark of rheumatic disease, structural changes of the joints are of key relevance as they cause impairment in physical function, pain and irreversible damage to the joint architecture. Understanding the nature and impact of structural joint changes is therefore considered of key importance to develop concepts to reduce the disease burden of musculoskeletal disease.
The ANCYLOSS consortium is designed to specifically investigate osteophyte formation (bony spurs) and joint ankylosis (fusion) in degenerative and inflammatory rheumatic disease aiming to improve our knowledge on this poorly characterized but very common clinical finding.
Members of the consortium have been selected according to their expertise in either studying the role of bone or adipose tissue in rheumatic disease or by providing techniques relevant to this topic in order to create a maximum chance of synergy and interdisciplinary. Key aims of the ANCYLOSS consortium are (i) to define the pathophysiology of osteophyte formation and ankylosis, (ii) to unravel biomarkers assocated with this phenomemenon and (iii) to find novel strategies to treat osteophyte formation in arthritis. Six different subprojects with tight mutual interactions are included in the ANCYLOSS consortium, which will address different aspects of osteophyte formation in both degenerative and inflammatory rheumatic disease.