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1.  Challenges in understanding Sjögren's syndrome - improved insights into the pathogenesis generate hope for innovative therapies? 
The reviews in this series on Sjögren syndrome provide an up-to-date summary and perspectives on the pathogenesis of this interesting entity with glandular and frequently systemic manifestations, the value of preclinical models, and our current understanding of therapeutic approaches. The last of these includes what has been learned from trials blocking tumor necrosis factor and, more recently, anti-CD20 therapy. Potential therapeutic targets, such as blockade of the B cell-activating factor, the role of interferon-alpha, and targeting CD22, are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3239360  PMID: 21888689
4.  How much sleep apnea is too much? 
PMCID: PMC2745770  PMID: 19664182
8.  (Auto)immunity to cartilage matrix proteins - a time bomb? 
Geng and colleagues consolidate and detail the role of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) as a (potential) autoantigen in experimental and human arthritis, a finding also supported by the detection of COMP fragments and anti-COMP antibodies in rheumatoid arthritis serum and/or synovial fluid and by synovial B-cell responses against COMP. The reactivity to COMP is yet another example of how, in addition to collagen II and the large aggregating proteoglycan, cartilage-specific proteins can induce arthritis and contribute to autoimmunity. Progression of cartilage damage and degradation in disease is believed to promote the autoimmune reaction to cartilage components. However, Geng and colleagues show that anti-COMP mAbs bind in vivo to undamaged cartilage, as previously also observed for anti-collagen II antibodies. Whether this autoimmunity also involves modifications of cartilage matrix proteins, such as citrullination, remains to be further investigated. Latent, subpathogenic (auto)immune reactions directed against cartilage matrix proteins may thus eventually contribute to the outbreak of human arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3745647  PMID: 23336107
12.  Towards the elucidation of the true impact of adipocytokines on cardiovascular risk in rheumatoid arthritis 
Adipo(cyto)kines are mostly produced by adipose tissue and orchestrate the adverse impact of excess adiposity on cardiovascular risk. Adipokines also contribute importantly to the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis. Congruent with data reported in previous investigations, Kang and colleagues report in this issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy that adipokine concentrations are further associated with metabolic risk and inflammation and that the leptin–adiponectin ratio associates with the carotid artery resistive index in rheumatoid arthritis. Guided by evidence reported thus far on cardiovascular risk, we discuss six reasons why careful elucidation of adipokine–cardiovascular risk relations is needed in rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC4061720  PMID: 24611178
14.  PEG-ing down (and preventing?) the cause of pegloticase failure 
Pegloticase is a powerful but underutilized weapon in the rheumatologist’s armamentarium. The drug’s immunogenicity leads to neutralizing antibody formation and rapid loss of efficacy in roughly one-half of all patients, which remains an impediment to broader use. New data, however, suggest that drug survival might improve with concomitant immunosuppressive agent (s), which merits further study. Efficacy appears to be unchanged when pegloticase is infused at 3-week (rather than 2-week) intervals. Stretching the time between infusions may also improve patient adherence and allow for earlier identification of transient responders.
PMCID: PMC4060209  PMID: 25142440
17.  Understanding IFNλ in rheumatoid arthritis 
Unraveling the mechanisms underlying the inflammatory response in rheumatoid arthritis is crucial in order to better understand the disease and to develop novel therapeutic approaches. Although the effect of type I interferons on fibroblasts and in the context of rheumatoid arthritis has been described for some time, little is known on the effects of the type III interferons, also known as IFNλ. In a previous issue, Xu and colleagues demonstrate that one of the members of the IFNλ family, IFNλ1, enhances Toll-like receptor expression and consequently promotes the production of proinflammatory cytokines known to be involved in initiating and maintaining the inflammatory responses in rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3978858  PMID: 24443794
18.  Mesenchymal stem cell therapy in osteoarthritis: advanced tissue repair or intervention with smouldering synovial activation? 
Although it is generally accepted that osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of the cartilage, other tissues such as synovium in which immunological and inflammatory reactions occur contribute to the development of joint pathology. This sheds new light on the potential mechanism of action of mesenchymal stem cell therapy in osteoarthritis. Rather than tissue repair due to local transformation of injected mesenchymal stem cells to chondrocytes and filling defects in cartilage, such treatment might suppress synovial activation and indirectly ameliorate cartilage damage. Desando and co-workers report in Arthritis Research & Therapy that intra-articular delivery of adipose-derived stem cells attenuates progression of synovial activation and joint destruction in osteoarthritis in an experimental rabbit model. Clinical studies are warranted to see whether this approach might be a novel way to combat development of joint destruction in inflammatory subtypes of osteoarthritis.
PMCID: PMC3672811  PMID: 23521980
21.  Kidney disease in lupus is not always 'lupus nephritis' 
In lupus erythematosus, elevated serum creatinine levels and urinary abnormalities implicate a kidney disorder, which may not always be lupus nephritis as defined by the current classification of the International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society. The signs of renal dysfunction may be caused by lupusunrelated renal injury such as drug toxicity or infection or by lupus-associated mechanisms that are not part of the classification, such as minimal change nephrotic syndrome or thrombotic microangiopathy. The latter seems to complicate lupus nephritis more frequently than previously thought. An unbiased assessment of kidney disease in lupus requires a kidney (re-)biopsy to define the appropriate management.
PMCID: PMC3672669  PMID: 23448342
22.  To target or not to target APRIL in systemic lupus erythematosus: that is the question! 
Among the cytokines that regulate B-cell homeostasis are the TNF-like ligands B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS; also B-cell activation factor) and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL). BLyS and APRIL share two receptors; that is, B-cell maturation antigen and transmembrane activator and CAML interactor. Therapeutic approaches using biologics are limited for treatment of lupus patients. One previously approved drug is belimumab, which antagonizes the B-cell stimulator BLyS. Atacicept, another biologic inhibiting BLyS and APRIL, was terminated for serious adverse events - raising the question of whether APRIL should be neutralized in autoimmune diseases.
PMCID: PMC3672817  PMID: 23438039
23.  Lupus nephritis - alarmins may sound the alarm? 
A growing body of literature has documented the elevated levels of the alarmin HMGB1 in lupus skin and serum. Two recent reports highlight the increased expression of HMGB1 in lupus nephritis, within the diseased kidneys or in the urine. Taken together with previous reports, these findings suggest that the interaction of HMGB1 with a variety of receptors, including receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and Toll-like receptors, might play a role in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis. These studies introduce urinary HMGB1 as a novel biomarker candidate in lupus nephritis. Whether alarmins would be effective in sounding the alarm at the incipience of renal damage remains to be ascertained.
PMCID: PMC3674625  PMID: 23270666
25.  Metabolic factors in osteoarthritis: obese people do not walk on their hands 
Obesity is an important risk factor for the development and progression of osteoarthritis (OA). Recently, the paradigm that obesity predisposes people to OA because of extra-mechanical loading only has shifted to the paradigm that metabolic factors (adipokines) are also involved in the pathophysiology of OA. In a cross-sectional study in the previous issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, Massengale and colleagues investigated the association between one of the adipokines - leptin - and hand OA. Hand joints are an ideal target to investigate the role of adipokines since they are not weight-bearing. Interestingly, no association with OA was found, bringing into question a metabolic, rather than a mechanical, explanation for the association between obesity and OA.
PMCID: PMC3580548  PMID: 22809017

Results 1-25 (4171)