IRAP (Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein) is an anti-inflammatory protein that counteracts the destructive effects of inflammatory proteins.
IRAP Anti-Inflammatory Protein
A novel therapy called IRAP®, Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein, is now available and showing promising results for the treatment of osteoarthritis in horses. Equine athletes are susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries and osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of lameness in horses. Osteoarthritis has a major economic impact on the horse industry and dictates the level of performance for many horses and their riders.
IRAP (Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein) is an anti-inflammatory protein that counteracts the destructive effects of inflammatory proteins such as Interleukin-1 (IL-1) within the inflamed joint.
IRAP was developed to counteract the inflammatory protein interleukin-1 that is produced in the joint during synovitis and to slow the progression of OA. It prevents IL-1 from binding to IL-1 receptors on tissues within the joint, and therefore blocks the action of and stops the damage caused by IL-1 in the joint.
Levels of IRAP and other anti-inflammatory proteins in the blood can be increased and produced for joint injection by incubating a 50ml sample of blood from your horse for 24 hours in a special syringe. The syringe contains glass beads coated with a substance to enhance production of anti-inflammatory proteins including IRAP. The syringe must reach the incubator as soon as possible after the blood has been harvested from your horse.
After 24 hours, the syringe is centrifuged, and the serum collected. The amount of serum collected from each 50ml syringe of blood is usually between 20-25ml. This yields 5-6 doses of IRAP, but the number of doses available for use from each collection is dependent on the specific joint.
Once the serum has been harvested, it is filtered and then frozen in single dose aliquots. Injections are kept frozen until immediately before use. Indications for use of IRAP in the joint include horses with a well defined synovitis/capsulitis, particularly those horses that do not respond well to conventional anti-inflammatory joint medication and horses that have had arthroscopic surgery and have been found to have focal cartilage diseases.