Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is a powerful mediator of inflammation produced by the body. While this protein serves a useful purpose in the 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.
Furthermore, its use may minimize frequency of steroid injection 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.