There is a Connection between Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Smoking – what are the Reasons?
Smoking might be a trigger for rheumatoid arthritis.
That smoking is unhealthy really isn’t a secret any more. However, it may be less well known that smoking is especially damaging to patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or people with a genetic predisposition towards this autoimmune disease.
Until a few years ago, a coherent explanation of how smoking triggers the break in immunotolerance and why tobacco smoke promotes the onset of autoimmune disease was still missing. A group of Swedish researchers has found one of the missing links in the pathogenic chain between tobacco smoke and rheumatoid arthritis (Makrygiannakis et al., 2008). The scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm showed that cigarette smoke is directly involved in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. (more…)
Genetics of Rheumatoid Arthritis Susceptibility
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a complex autoimmune disease that is influenced by genetic and environmental factors, e.g. smoking. A group of Spanish investigators around Alejandro Balsa has recently published a study about the influence of HLA DRB1 genes on the development of RA and the production of disease-specific autoantibodies (open access, free article).
They observed a dose-dependent association between SE-alleles and ACPA-titres in a Spanish cohort of RA patients. (more…)
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA): How do genes contribute to onset of this autoimmune disease? What about the environment?
Both the genetic groundwork of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and the influence of the environment on onset of the disease have thus far seen little research. One of the reasons for this is surely that JIA is a rare disease: only one in a thousand children suffer from juvenile idiopathic arthritis. With such a small number of patients, it is naturally difficult to carry out meaningful studies.
Insights and hypotheses about the epidemiology and pathomechanism of other autoimmune diseases have only in recent years begun to be carried over to JIA and confirmed for this autoimmune disorder. (more…)
Are RA-specific ACPAs formed directly within inflamed joints?
Antibodies against mutated citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV) and cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP) in the serum of RA patients act as highly specific indicators of rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, these antibodies indicate whether the disease is progressing aggressively. In contrast to the CCP antibodies, the anti-MCV antibodies seem to have pathogenic significance.
Earlier studies showed that the anti-CCP titre is higher in the synovial fluid of RA patients than in their serum. This study was intended to demonstrate that this is also true of anti-MCV antibodies and antibodies against other citrullinated proteins. (more…)