Linking autoantibody production to bone loss
in rheumatoid arthritis
Autoantibodies against citrullinated proteins (ACPA) are found in people with rheumatoid arthritis and are one of the strongest risk factors for bone destruction in this disease. A recent study now directly links the formation of antibodies binding to mutated citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV) to bone loss in rheumatoid arthritis, indicating that these autoantibodies act on osteoclasts, the bone cells responsible for bone resorption.
Harre U, Georgess D, Bang H, Bozec A, Axmann R, Ossipova E et al. Induction of osteoclastogenesis and bone loss by human autoantibodies against citrullinated vimentin. J Clin Invest 2012; 122(5):1791-802. (1)
The research of U. Harre, G. Schett and their coworkers provides fundamental new insights into the interaction between bone and the immune system in the inflammatory process leading to the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
How Bones and the Immune System Do Communicate
The term osteoimmunology was first used about 10 years ago by Joseph R. Arron and Yongwon Choi in their article Osteoimmunology: Bone Versus Immune System in Nature. Since then, a number of articles have appeared in the scientific literature with this term in their title. A Wikipedia article on the subject has also been available since July 2007, though it is only in English and is not (yet) very comprehensive.
There have also been occasional conferences that explicitly included osteoimmunology, for example the 3rd International Conference on Osteoimmunology: Interactions of Immune and Skeletal Systems coming up end of this month in Greece (20-25 June, 2010). In addition, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has initiated a new area of concentration called Immunobone, in order to promote this area of research and to facilitate networking between the various research groups and numerous different studies. (more…)