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Cell signalling in macrophages, the principal innate immune effector cells of rheumatoid arthritis

Stefan K Drexler, Philip L Kong, Jeremy Wales and Brian M Foxwell*

Author affiliations

Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology Division, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, 65 Aspenlea Road, Hammersmith, London, W6 8LH, UK

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:216  doi:10.1186/ar2481

Published: 10 October 2008


Rheumatoid arthritis is a multisystemic auto-inflammatory disease affecting up to 1% of the population and leading to the destruction of the joints. Evidence exists for the involvement of the innate as well as the adaptive immune systems in the pathology of the disease. The success of anti-tumour necrosis factor-α indicates the importance of pro-inflammatory mediators produced by innate immune cells in rheumatoid arthritis progression. Therefore, considerable efforts have been made in elucidating the signalling pathways leading to the expression of those mediators. This review will concentrate on the role of signalling pathways in innate immune cells in the context of rheumatoid arthritis.