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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2009;(188):81-98. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-71029-5_4.

Dendritic cells and their potential implication in pathology and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Dendritic cells (DC) are the professional antigen presenting cells that protect us against invading organisms. On the other hand, they uphold tolerance thereby avoiding the initiation of autoimmunity. In performing these contrasting but essential tasks DC are unique and divide these processes in time and space. It is often thought that a loss of separation of these tasks underlies the breakthrough of tolerance leading to autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. In this review, we will focus on the evidence which points towards the implication of DC in the inflammatory process observed in RA and in experimental models of arthritis. Finally, we will conclude on future programs exploiting the capacity of DC to cure conditions such as RA.

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