Inflammatory arthritis encompasses a set of common diseases characterized by immune-mediated attack on joint tissues. Most but not all affected patients manifest circulating autoantibodies. Decades of study in human and animal arthritis have identified key roles for autoantibodies in immune complexes and through direct modulation of articular biology. However, joint inflammation can arise because of pathogenic T cells and other pathways that are antibody-independent. Here we review the evidence for these parallel tracks, in animal models and in humans, to explore the range of mechanisms engaged in the pathophysiology of arthritis and to highlight opportunities for targeted therapeutic intervention.
Margaret H. Chang, Peter A. Nigrovic
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