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Commentary

Building the synovium: cadherin-11 mediates fibroblast-like synoviocyte cell-to-cell adhesion

Hans P Kiener and Michael B Brenner*

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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Arthritis Res Ther 2005, 7:49-54  doi:10.1186/ar1495

Published: 12 January 2005

Abstract

Specific adhesion among like cells is a key determinant of the architecture of tissues. Homophilic (like binds like) adhesive interactions between cells are mediated by cadherins. These integral membrane glycoproteins have a crucial role in tissue morphogenesis during development and the maintenance of tissue integrity in adults. There is also an increasing recognition of a regulatory role for cadherins in a variety of cell functions, including cell migration. The recent identification of cadherin-11 expression in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) has shed light on the mechanisms of synovial tissue organization and differentiation. Moreover, cadherin-11 expression in FLSs might also provide insight into pathways that determine the mesenchymal tissue response of the synovium to inflammation.