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Recent developments in the immunobiology of rheumatoid arthritis

Anna K Andersson*, Ching Li and Fionula M Brennan

Author Affiliations

Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, 1 Aspenlea Road, London W6 8LH, UK

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:204  doi:10.1186/ar2370

Published: 14 March 2008


Progress into the understanding of immunopathology in rheumatoid arthritis is reviewed in the present article with regard to pro-inflammatory cytokine production, cell activation and recruitment, and osteoclastogenesis. Studies highlight the potential importance of T helper 17 cells and regulatory T cells in driving and suppressing inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, respectively, and highlight other potential T-cell therapeutic targets. The genetic associations of the HLA shared epitope alleles with antibodies to citrullinated peptides in rheumatoid arthritis patients indicate that T cells are providing help to B cells to produce autoantibodies, and there is increasing evidence that these autoantibodies are pathogenic in rheumatoid arthritis.