Extracellular Vesicles in Rheumatoid Arthritis: What’s the Role?

When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), cell-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) are involved in its pathogenesis. These EVs play important roles in antigen presentation, inflammation, angiogenesis, cell–cell signal communication, thrombosis, and articular cartilage extracellular matrix degradation. By better understanding the pathogenic mechanism of RA, new therapies can be developed. In this review published in Molecular Immunologyresearchers summarize recent advances in understanding the pathogenesis of RA, and how EVs could be used to develop new drug deliveries or targets for RA therapies. 

RA is a chronic, inflammatory, and systemic autoimmune disease. Symptoms include joint pain, swelling, deformity, and even disability. Although number of pharmacologic intervention drugs for RA have been developed (including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs), these therapies do not cure RA and can often have significant side effects. New biologics have made therapeutic improvements in RA treatmentbut almost half of patients with RA do not respond to anti-TNF-α therapy. According to the review, “gene therapy for RA treatment shows promise; however, it is unknown whether gene therapy is safe for treating patients with RA.” Recent studies on EVs have shown positive pathogenic effects and therapeutic treatments of RA. 

SOURCE: Molecular Immunology