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Diverse immune cells prevent rheumatoid arthritis

Diverse immune cells prevent rheumatoid arthritis
9th May 2012

A lack of diversity in immune cells paves the way for rheumatoid arthritis.

The condition is caused when the body's own immune system targets the joints, causing painful inflation and swelling.

However, researched have finally identified that it takes a diverse array of regulatory T cells to prevent the immune system from causing the inflammation.

Dr Andrew J Caton, senior author and professor in The Wistar Institute Cancer Center’s Tumour Microenvironment and Metastasis program said that suppressing the immune response against a single target will not prevent rheumatoid arthritis.

"Instead, an array of inflammation-stimulating antigens may be involved in causing the disease, since our study shows that an array of regulatory T cells is required to temper the immune system's attack on joints," he said.

The discovery could aid future treatment, as well as prompting further research into why the joints are the main target of rheumatoid arthritis instead of other areas of the body.

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