Fighting Against Joint Inflammation
Interleukin Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP) is an injection that is used to treat equine injuries. IRAP works as a natural anti-inflammatory by blocking the receptor for Interleukin-1, which is one of the key players in osteoarthritis. Present in almost all inflamed joints, IL-1 causes the progression of degenerative joint disease (DJD) and impedes healing to damaged tissues. IRAP can be effective against DJD and shows promise for rehabilitation following both traumatic injury and surgery.
Furthermore, its use may minimize the frequency of steroid injections in advanced osteoarthritis seen by many performance horses. Depending on the injury, we generally perform a 3-dose series of IRAP injections over a 30-day period.
Why IRAP is Important
Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is a powerful mediator of inflammation in the body. While this protein serves a useful purpose during a normal immune response, it is sometimes produced in excess within joints following injury or simple "wear-and-tear". In this case, IL-1 becomes destructive, degrades articular cartilage, and promotes arthritis. IRAP blocks IL-1 to effectively reduce inflammation and destruction within the joint.
IRAP is produced by collecting 60 ml of blood in a commercial kit designed to concentrate anti-inflammatory proteins. After a 22-hour incubation period, the serum is separated and filtered. Protocols vary depending on the affected joint, but each collection generally yields 5-6 doses which can be frozen and stored for up to one year.