This article is part of the supplement: Targeting B cells in autoimmune diseases
Targeting B cells for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
Roche Pharmaceuticals, Palo Alto, California, USA
Arthritis Res Ther 2003, 5(Suppl 4):S7-S11 doi:10.1186/ar1006Published: 2 October 2003
The role of B cells in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been debated for decades. However, recent clinical trial data indicating that depletion of B cells in RA patients is of therapeutic benefit has validated the importance of this cell type in the pathogenesis of the disease. Elucidation of the molecular basis of B cell development and activation has allowed the identification of a number of possible therapeutic targets that are appealing for drug development. This review discusses briefly a number of these molecules and the rationale for targeting them for the treatment of RA.