Cells of the synovium in rheumatoid arthritis. T lymphocytes

Arthritis Res Ther. 2007;9(1):202. doi: 10.1186/ar2107.


Recent findings have substantiated the importance of T lymphocytes to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here, we review emerging data regarding genetic predisposition, spontaneous animal models of arthritis, and cell-cell interactions that implicate T cells as driving synovial inflammation and joint destruction. Information regarding the proinflammatory role of interleukin-17-producing T cells and the functional state of regulatory T cells both in animal models and in patients with RA is also discussed. In light of the overwhelming evidence that disrupted T-cell homeostasis greatly contributes to joint pathology in RA, the therapeutic potential of targeting activators of pro-inflammatory T cells or their products is compelling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Synovial Membrane / immunology
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / pathology*