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Angiogenesis in rheumatoid arthritis: a disease specific process or a common response to chronic inflammation?



Angiogenesis in rheumatoid arthritis: a disease specific process or a common response to chronic inflammation?



Autoimmunity Reviews 10(10): 595-598



Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels from existing vessels. During RA new blood vessels can maintain the chronic inflammatory state by transporting inflammatory cells to the site of inflammation and supplying nutrients and oxygen to the proliferating inflamed tissue. The increased endothelial surface area also creates an enormous capacity for the production of cytokines, adhesion molecules, and other inflammatory stimuli, simultaneously the propagation of new vessels in the synovial membrane allows the invasion of this tissue supporting the active infiltration of synovial membrane into cartilage and resulting in erosions and destruction of the cartilage. This angiogenic phenotype is promoted by several pro-angiogenic molecules, the most potent of which is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Although angiogenesis is recognized as a key event in the formation and maintenance the infiltration of synovial membrane during RA, it is unclear whether angiogenesis should be considered a specific feature of the disease or a common inflammation driven process. However the emergence of biological therapies, such as anti TNF blockade, has suggested that there are features of the inflammatory response that are not general but contextual to the specificity of the tissue where inflammation occurs, and point out the relevant role of tissue-resident stromal cells in determining the site at which inflammation occurs and the specific features of chronic inflammation such as that occurs in RA.

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Accession: 051546784

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21545851

DOI: 10.1016/j.autrev.2011.04.020


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