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Cell-cell interactions in synovitis: Antigen presenting cells and T cell interaction in rheumatoid arthritis

Tanja Aarvak and Jacob B Natvig

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Institute of Immunology, Laboratory of Rheumatology Research, The National Hospital, Oslo, Norway

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Citation and License

Arthritis Res 2001, 3:13-17  doi:10.1186/ar135

Published: 27 October 2000


The synovial tissue in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients is enriched with mature antigen presenting cells (APCs) and many T lymphocytes. Interactions between APCs and T cells are essential for the initiation and amplification of T-cell-dependent immune responses, and may therefore play an important role in the chronic inflammatory processes in the synovium. The nature of the antigen(s) involved in RA still remains elusive. However, interactions and signaling through the costimulatory molecules CD28-CD80/86 and CD40-CD40L are critical during APC–T cell interaction for optimal cell activation. This review discusses how such costimulatory signals can be involved in the initiation and amplification of the inflammatory reactions in the synovium. Blocking of the signaling pathways involved in APC–T cell interactions might provide a specific immuno-therapeutic approach for the treatment of RA.

antigen presenting cell; costimulatory molecules; rheumatoid synovium; T cells