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Pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic symmetric polyarticular joint disease that primarily affects the small joints of the hands and feet. The inflammatory process is characterized by infiltration of inflammatory cells into the joints, leading to proliferation of synoviocytes and destruction of cartilage and bone.This is a chronic debilitating autoimmune disease of unknown etiology affecting diarthrodial joints. Although the disease is characterized by synovitis of the joints, tendon sheaths, and bursae, manifestations that do not involve the synovium are also frequent (Ref.1 & 2). These articular and systemic manifestations are mediated by hyperplasia of the synovial lining cells and extensive infiltration of macrophages, lymphocytes, fibroblasts, and leukocytes in joints, where a variety of cytokines, prostaglandins and proteolytic enzymes, are responsible [...]


1.Advances in rheumatology: new targeted therapeutics.
Tak PP, Kalden JR.
Arthritis Res Ther. 2011 May 25;13 Suppl 1:S5.
2.Clinical synovitis in a particular joint is associated with progression of erosions and joint space narrowing in that same joint, but not in patients initially treated with infliximab.
Klarenbeek NB, Güler-Yüksel M, van der Heijde DM, Hulsmans HM, Kerstens PJ, Molenaar TH, de Sonnaville PB, Huizinga TW, Dijkmans BA, Allaart CF.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2010 Dec;69(12):2107-13. Epub 2010 Jul 7.
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