Which cells have a major role in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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CD4 T cells, mononuclear phagocytes, fibroblasts, osteoclasts, and neutrophils play major cellular roles in the pathophysiology of RA, whereas B cells produce autoantibodies (ie, rheumatoid factors). Abnormal production of numerous cytokines, chemokines, and other inflammatory mediators has been demonstrated in patients with RA, including the following:

  • Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)
  • Interleukin (IL)-1
  • IL-6
  • IL-8
  • Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-ß)
  • Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)
  • Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)

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