Pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Role of B lymphocytes

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2001 May;27(2):335-53. doi: 10.1016/s0889-857x(05)70205-2.


Despite many years of investigation, there remain many unanswered fundamental questions on the role of B cells in RA. Why is RF found in the sera of 80% of patients with RA and often in other chronic inflammatory diseases? What signals lead B lymphocytes to migrate into the subsynovial lining of joints? Does receptor revision in synovium play a role in the generation of autoantibodies in RA? What is the relative contribution of B-cell inhibition on the salutary effect of medications for RA? Can targeting autoreactive B cells, in conjunction with other therapies, provide therapeutic benefit in RA? We are hopeful that through continued basic, clinical, and translational research, these questions can be answered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / etiology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Humans