Using a humanized mouse model that mimics the effects of human rheuma-toid arthritis (RA), researchers have discovered that protein growth factors called cytokines in the immune system have both pro- and anti-inflammatory responses to RA that help explain why some patients respond to current therapy and others dont. By pinpointing the unique immune mecha-nisms involved in different forms of RA, the scientists hope to guide physicians toward more pre-cise individualized diagnosis of RA patients and more effective therapies that target specific forms of the disease.
The findings were published online on October 20 and are reported in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The research was conducted at the Lowance Center for Human Immunology at Emory University School of Medicine, and was led by rheumatologists Cornelia Weyand, MD, PhD, and Jorg Goronzy, MD, PhD. The studys first author was Thor-sten M. Seyler.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic and crippling inflammatory joint, bone and cartilage disease affecting more than 2.1 million Americans. An autoimmune disease, RA is characterized by an abnormal immune response in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue, causing in-flammation of the lining of the joints, called the synovium.
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