Cells of the synovium in rheumatoid arthritis. T lymphocytes
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Rheumatic Diseases Core Center, University of Michigan Medical School, 4043 Biomedical Sciences Research Bldg., 109 Zina Pitcher Pl., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200, USA
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:202 doi:10.1186/ar2107Published: 13 February 2007
Recent findings have substantiated the importance of T lymphocytes to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here, we review emerging data regarding genetic predisposition, spontaneous animal models of arthritis, and cell-cell interactions that implicate T cells as driving synovial inflammation and joint destruction. Information regarding the proinflammatory role of interleukin-17-producing T cells and the functional state of regulatory T cells both in animal models and in patients with RA is also discussed. In light of the overwhelming evidence that disrupted T-cell homeostasis greatly contributes to joint pathology in RA, the therapeutic potential of targeting activators of pro-inflammatory T cells or their products is compelling.