Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 138  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 717-731

Temporal cytokine expression and the target organ attributes unravel novel aspects of autoimmune arthritis

Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Correspondence Address:
Kamal D Moudgil
Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 685 W. Baltimore Street, HSF-1, Suite 380, Baltimore, MD 21201
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 24434324

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Susceptibility to autoimmunity is determined by multiple factors. Defining the contribution of the quantitative versus qualitative aspects of antigen-directed immune responses as well as the factors influencing target organ susceptibility is vital to advancing the understanding of the pathogenesis of autoimmunity. In a series of studies, we have addressed these issues using the adjuvant-induced arthritis (AA) model of human rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Lewis rats are susceptible to AA following immunization with heat-killed Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra, whereas Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats of the same MHC (major histocompatibility complex) haplotype are resistant. Comparative studies on these and other susceptible/resistant rodent strains have offered interesting insights into differential cytokine responses in the face of comparable T cell proliferative response to the disease relevant antigens. Study of the cytokine kinetics have also permitted validation of the disease-protective versus disease-aggravating effects of specific cytokines by treatment of rats/mice with those cytokines at different phases of the disease. In regard to the target organ attributes, the migration of arthritogenic leukocytes into the joints; the expression of mediators of inflammation, angiogenesis, and tissue damage; the role of vascular permeability; and the characteristics of vascular endothelial cells have been examined. Further, various inhibitors of angiogenesis are effective in suppressing arthritis. Taken together, the differential cytokine responses and unique attributes of the target organ have revealed novel aspects of disease susceptibility and joint damage in AA. The translation of this basic research in animal models to RA patients would not only advance our understanding of the disease process, but also offer novel avenues for immunomodulation of this disease.

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