Positive correlation of increased T follicular helper (Tfh)-like cells with disease activity and auto-antibody production in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). (a) Frequencies of circulating CXCR5+PD-1+CD4+ Tfh-like cells were significantly higher in peripheral blood (PB) of RA patients (n = 47) than in healthy controls (HC) (n = 47). (b) There was positive correlation between Tfh-like cells and 28-joint count disease activity score (DAS28) in RA patients with high levels of Tfh-like cells (n = 31). (c) There was a positive correlation between Tfh-like cells and levels of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP antibody) in RA patients with high levels of Tfh-like cells (n = 31). (d) Tfh-like cells had no relationship with levels of rheumatoid factor (RF)-IgM, RF-IgG and RF-IgA in RA patients with high levels of Tfh-like cells (n = 31). **P < 0.01; *P < 0.05.
Liu et al. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012 14:R255 doi:10.1186/ar4100