What is the role of immunologic factors in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

All of the major immunologic elements play fundamental roles in initiating, propagating, and maintaining the autoimmune process of RA. The exact orchestration of the cellular and cytokine events that lead to pathologic consequences (eg, synovial proliferation and subsequent joint destruction) is complex, involving T and B cells, antigen-presenting cells (eg, B cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells), and various cytokines. Aberrant production and regulation of both proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and cytokine pathways are found in RA.


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