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Science. 1999 Nov 26;286(5445):1732-5.

Arthritis provoked by linked T and B cell recognition of a glycolytic enzyme.

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  • 1Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS/INSERM/ULP), BP 163, 67404 Illkirch, C.U. de Strasbourg, France.


The hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is specific destruction of the synovial joints. In a mouse line that spontaneously develops a disorder with many of the features of human RA, disease is initiated by T cell recognition of a ubiquitously expressed self-antigen; once initiated, pathology is driven almost entirely by immunoglobulins. In this study, the target of both the initiating T cells and pathogenic immunoglobulins was identified as glucose-6-phosphate isomerase, a glycolytic enzyme. Thus, some forms of RA or related arthritides may develop by a mechanism fundamentally different from the currently popular paradigm of a joint-specific T cell response.

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