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Review

The Germinal Center Milieu in Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Immunological Drummer or Dancer?

1
Department of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Amsterdam Rheumatology & Immunology Center, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Department of Experimental Immunology, Amsterdam Infection & Immunity Institute, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Department of Epidemiology and Data Science, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam Infection & Immunity Institute, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4
Department of Rheumatology, Spaarne Gasthuis, Hoofdorp, 2000 AK Haarlem, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Shared first authorship.
Academic Editors: Yousef Abu-Amer and Jorge Monserrat
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(19), 10514; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910514
Received: 26 August 2021 / Revised: 24 September 2021 / Accepted: 28 September 2021 / Published: 29 September 2021
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint inflammation, affecting approximately 1% of the general population. To alleviate symptoms and ameliorate joint damage, chronic use of immunosuppressives is needed. However, these treatments are only partially effective and may lead to unwanted side effects. Therefore, a more profound understanding of the pathophysiology might lead to more effective therapies, or better still, a cure. The presence of autoantibodies in RA indicates that B cells might have a pivotal role in the disease. This concept is further supported by the fact that a diverse antibody response to various arthritis-related epitopes is associated with arthritis development. In this context, attention has focused in recent years on the role of Germinal Centers (GCs) in RA. Since GCs act as the main anatomic location of somatic hypermutations, and, thus, contributing to the diversity and specificity of (auto) antibodies, it has been speculated that defects in germinal center reactions might be crucial in the initiation and maintenance of auto-immune events. In this paper, we discuss current evidence that various processes within GCs can result in the aberrant production of B cells that possess autoreactive properties and might result in the production of RA related autoantibodies. Secondly, we discuss various (pre-)clinical studies that have targeted various GC processes as novel therapies for RA treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rheumatoid Arthritis; autoantibodies; lymphoid organs; germinal centers; follicular T cells Rheumatoid Arthritis; autoantibodies; lymphoid organs; germinal centers; follicular T cells
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MDPI and ACS Style

Anang, D.C.; Balzaretti, G.; van Kampen, A.; de Vries, N.; Klarenbeek, P.L. The Germinal Center Milieu in Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Immunological Drummer or Dancer? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 10514. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910514

AMA Style

Anang DC, Balzaretti G, van Kampen A, de Vries N, Klarenbeek PL. The Germinal Center Milieu in Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Immunological Drummer or Dancer? International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(19):10514. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910514

Chicago/Turabian Style

Anang, Dornatien C., Giulia Balzaretti, Antoine van Kampen, Niek de Vries, and Paul L. Klarenbeek. 2021. "The Germinal Center Milieu in Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Immunological Drummer or Dancer?" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 19: 10514. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910514

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