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Role of cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis

Gordon Starkebaum
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 5 Number 2: Page 6 (April 1998)

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Abstract: The concept that activated T cells are involved in both the initiation of rheumatoid arthritis has given way to an understanding that specific pro-inflammatory cytokines are responsible for many manifestations of the disease. These cytokines, interleukin 1 and tumor necrosis factor alpha, do not appear to require the continued presence of activated T cells to exert their chronic inflammatory effects. Therapeutic trials of agents designed to inhibit IL-1 and TNF-alpha have shown impressive results in patients with rheumatioid arthritis and have added to knowledge of the mechanisms of some existing antirheumatic therapies.

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