Antibodies produced within the joints themselves may be responsible for joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis, according to new research published in PLoS Medicine.
Studying joint biopsies from people with rheumatoid arthritis, Costantino Pitzalis of Barts and the London School of Medicine and colleagues found that tiny structures in the joint lining mimic key functions of antibody-producing lymph nodes, and can support the production of specific antibodies that may play a role in joint destruction. They found that these processes continued after joint tissue bearing the lymphoid structures was transplanted into mice without immune systems of their own, indicating that potentially destructive antibody production within joints can proceed independently of the body's lymph nodes.
In an accompanying Perspective article, Rene E. M. Toes and Tom W. J. Huizinga of Leiden University Medical Center, who were not involved in the research, note that these results provide a rationale to target lymphoid structures in the joints as a new treatment modality for rheumatoid arthritis.
Citation: Humby F, Bombardieri M, Manzo A, Kelly S, Blades MC, et al. (2009) Ectopic lymphoid structures support ongoing production of class-switched autoantibodies in rheumatoid synovium. PLoS Med 6(1): e1. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0060001
IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0060001
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-06-01-pitzalis.pdf
READ THE EDITORS' SUMMARY OF THE PAPER: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-06-01-pitzalis-summary.pdf
Barts and the London School of Medicine
William Harvey Research Institute
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Related PLoS Medicine Perspective
Citation: Toes REM, Huizinga TWJ (2009) Autoimmune responses in the rheumatoid synovium. PLoS Med 6(1): e1000009. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000009
IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000009
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-06-01-toes.pdf
Leiden University Medical Center
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