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Review

CD154: the atherosclerotic risk factor in rheumatoid arthritis?

Ghada S Hassan1, Daniel Yacoub1, Nada Alaaeddine2, Amal Nadiri1, Yahye Merhi3 and Walid Mourad1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratoire d'Immunologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Hôpital Saint-Luc, Pavillon Edward Asselin, Local: 415, 264 René Lévesque Est, Montréal, QC H2X 1P1, Canada

2 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, PO Box 11-5076, St Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon

3 Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H1T 1C8, Canada

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:206  doi:10.1186/ar4153

Published: 22 February 2013

Abstract

Atherosclerosis, now regarded as a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial wall, and its clinical manifestations have increasingly been associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), supporting the notion that autoimmune diseases and vascular disorders share common etiological features. Indeed, evidence pertaining to this matter indicates that inflammation and its multiple components are the driving force behind the pathogenesis of these disorders. Interestingly, CD154 and its receptors have emerged as major players in the development of RA and atherosclerosis, which raises the possibility that this axis may represent an important biological link between both complications. Indeed, CD154 signaling elicits critical inflammatory responses that are common to the pathogenesis of both diseases. Here, we provide an overview of the traditional and disease-related interrelations between RA and vascular abnormalities, while focusing on CD154 as a potential mediator in the development of atherosclerotic events in RA patients.