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Highly Accessed Editorial

Anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy and B cells in rheumatoid arthritis

Maria J Leandro

Author Affiliations

Centre for Rheumatology, University College London, Windeyer Building, Room 318, 46 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JF, UK

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:128  doi:10.1186/ar2809


See related research by Souto-Carneiro et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/11/3/R84

Published: 6 October 2009

Abstract

The efficacy of B-cell depletion therapy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has led to a renewed interest in B cells and their products and the role they play in the pathogenesis of the disease. Agents blocking tumour necrosis factor (TNF) are also very effective in the treatment of RA. It has long been known that the use of anti-TNF therapy can be associated with development of anti-nuclear and anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies and, more rarely, a lupus-like syndrome. Recently, studies have been published investigating further possible effects of anti-TNF agents on B cells and whether these could contribute to their effectiveness in RA.