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Biotecnología Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1027-2852


BARBERA, Ariana; LORENZO, Noraylis  and  DOMINGUEZ, María del Carmen. Current treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Perspectives for the development of antigen-specific therapies. Biotecnol Apl [online]. 2012, vol.29, n.3, pp.146-154. ISSN 1027-2852.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a degenerative disease characterized by chronic inflammation of peripheral joints. The first line of treatment involves the use of potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs, leading to an overall suppression of the immune system. However, these drugs do not induce sustained remission and their use can cause immunosuppression that leads to severe complications. Thus, there is a need for developing new therapeutic alternatives for the treatment of this disease. Antigen-specific therapies allow the elimination of pathogenic cells without affecting the immune system's ability to respond to infections. Within this approach heat stress proteins are promising candidates. Although progress has been made in the development of efficient antigen-specific therapies, the excellent results obtained in animal models have been difficult to translate to humans. The combined use of antigen-specific therapy with current drugs can be an attractive strategy in the near future to achieve the complete remission of the disease. Some of these combinations have already begun to be evaluated in animal models and in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Keywords : rheumatoid arthritis; regulatory T cells; biological therapy; pro-inflammatory cytokine; combination therapy.

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