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Activated B cells could hold key to early-stage autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis

Journal
Science Translational Medicine
Reuters Health - 23/11/2020 - B cells that contain anticitrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs), a major risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), are most active in early-stage disease but also proliferate in ACPA-positive patients with arthralgia who have not yet developed synovial inflammation, researchers say. "Silencing these (autoreactive) B cells could be a target for novel therapies," Dr. Hans Scherer of Leiden University Medical University Medical Center told Reuters Health by email. "The ultimate goal is the induction of 'immunological remission,' which we think is required for cure." A possible reason that RA often flares when treatment is stopped, he said "is that most current treatments efficiently suppress inflammation while leaving the underlying immunological processes unaffected. Hence, patients frequently reach clinical remission, but not immunological remission." As reported in Science Translational Medicine, the team studied samples of bl...


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