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The Scientific Basis of Rheumatology: A Decade of Progress

This special collection of reviews - published to mark Arthritis Research & Therapy's 10th anniversary - provides an in depth overview of the current status of basic and clinical research in rheumatology, and focuses particularly on developments in the past decade, during which there has been an explosion of new information in the field. Corporate sponsorship from Schering-Plough and Wyeth has enabled BioMed Central to make these reviews free to access online. No sponsor has had input into the content of the publication or the articles themselves. All published articles have been independently prepared by the authors, and have been subject to the journal's standard peer review process.

  1. Review

    Toll-like receptors and NOD-like receptors in rheumatic diseases

    The past 10 years have seen the description of families of receptors that drive proinflammatory cytokine production in infection and tissue injury. Two major classes have been examined in the context of inflam...

    William J McCormack, Andrew E Parker and Luke A O'Neill

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:243

    Published on: 14 October 2009

  2. Review

    B cells in autoimmunity

    B-cell development is tightly regulated, including the induction of B-cell memory and antibody-secreting plasmablasts and plasma cells. In the last decade, we have expanded our understanding of effector functi...

    Thomas Dörner, Annett M Jacobi and Peter E Lipsky

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:247

    Published on: 14 October 2009

  3. Review

    Developments in the clinical understanding of lupus

    Advances in genetics and new understanding of the molecular pathways that mediate innate and adaptive immune system activation, along with renewed focus on the role of the complement system as a mediator of in...

    Mary K Crow

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:245

    Published on: 14 October 2009

  4. Review

    Developments in the scientific understanding of rheumatoid arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is recognized to be an autoimmune disease that causes preclinical systemic abnormalities and eventually leads to synovial inflammation and destruction of the joint architecture. Recen...

    Jörg J Goronzy and Cornelia M Weyand

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:249

    Published on: 14 October 2009

  5. Review

    Genetics of rheumatic disease

    Many of the chronic inflammatory and degenerative disorders that present to clinical rheumatologists have a complex genetic aetiology. Over the past decade a dramatic improvement in technology and methodology ...

    Alex Clarke and Timothy J Vyse

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:248

    Published on: 14 October 2009

  6. Review

    Lessons from animal models of arthritis over the past decade

    This review summarizes the major developments in animal models of arthritis in the past decade. It focuses on novel transgenic models, addresses the involvement of cytokines and discusses novel findings in car...

    Wim B van den Berg

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:250

    Published on: 14 October 2009

  7. Review

    Outcome measures in inflammatory rheumatic diseases

    Inflammatory rheumatic diseases are generally multifaceted disorders and, therefore, measurement of multiple outcomes is relevant to most of these diseases. Developments in outcome measures in the rheumatic di...

    Jaap Fransen and Piet LCM van Riel

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:244

    Published on: 14 October 2009

  8. Review

    Developments in the scientific understanding of osteoporosis

    During the past 10 years we have experienced very significant developments in our understanding of bone biology, and this has improved our abilities to both diagnose and treat patients with osteoporosis. This ...

    Nancy E Lane and Wei Yao

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:228

    Published on: 19 May 2009

  9. Review

    Antibody engineering to develop new antirheumatic therapies

    There has been a therapeutic revolution in rheumatology over the past 15 years, characterised by a move away from oral immuno-suppressive drugs toward parenteral targeted biological therapies. The potency and ...

    John D Isaacs

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:225

    Published on: 19 May 2009

  10. Review

    Cartilage homeostasis in health and rheumatic diseases

    As the cellular component of articular cartilage, chondrocytes are responsible for maintaining in a low-turnover state the unique composition and organization of the matrix that was determined during embryonic...

    Mary B Goldring and Kenneth B Marcu

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:224

    Published on: 19 May 2009

  11. Review

    Developments in the scientific understanding of osteoarthritis

    Osteoarthritis is often a progressive and disabling disease, which occurs in the setting of a variety of risk factors – such as advancing age, obesity, and trauma – that conspire to incite a cascade of pathoph...

    Steven B Abramson and Mukundan Attur

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:227

    Published on: 19 May 2009

  12. Review

    Developments in the clinical understanding of osteoarthritis

    With the recognition that osteoarthritis is a disease of the whole joint, attention has focused increasingly on features in the joint environment which cause ongoing joint damage and are likely sources of pain...

    David T Felson

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:203

    Published on: 30 January 2009

  13. Review

    Antigen receptor signaling in the rheumatic diseases

    Antigen receptor signaling in lymphocytes has been clearly implicated in the pathogenesis of the rheumatic diseases. Here, we review evidence from mouse models in which B-cell and T-cell signaling machinery is...

    Julie Zikherman and Arthur Weiss

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:202

    Published on: 30 January 2009

  14. Review

    Transcription profiling of rheumatic diseases

    Rheumatic diseases are a diverse group of disorders. Most of these diseases are heterogeneous in nature and show varying responsiveness to treatment. Because our understanding of the molecular complexity of rh...

    Lisa GM van Baarsen, Carina L Bos, Tineke CTM van der Pouw Kraan and Cornelis L Verweij

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:207

    Published on: 30 January 2009

  15. Review

    Garden of therapeutic delights: new targets in rheumatic diseases

    Advances in our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms in rheumatic disease fostered the advent of the targeted therapeutics era. Intense research activity continues to increase the number of p...

    Jean M Waldburger and Gary S Firestein

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:206

    Published on: 30 January 2009

  16. Review

    Gene therapy of the rheumatic diseases: 1998 to 2008

    During the decade since the launch of Arthritis Research, the application of gene therapy to the rheumatic diseases has experienced the same vicissitudes as the field of gene therapy as a whole. There have been c...

    Christopher H Evans, Steven C Ghivizzani and Paul D Robbins

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:209

    Published on: 30 January 2009

  17. Review

    Developments in the clinical understanding of rheumatoid arthritis

    The changes occurring in the field of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) over the past decade or two have encompassed new therapies and, in particular, a new look at the clinical characteristics of the disease in the c...

    Josef S Smolen and Daniel Aletaha

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:204

    Published on: 30 January 2009

  18. Review

    Tissue engineering in the rheumatic diseases

    Diseases such as degenerative or rheumatoid arthritis are accompanied by joint destruction. Clinically applied tissue engineering technologies like autologous chondrocyte implantation, matrix-assisted chondroc...

    Jochen Ringe and Michael Sittinger

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:211

    Published on: 30 January 2009

  19. Review

    Osteoimmunology in rheumatic diseases

    This review summarizes the recent advances of osteoimmunology, a new research field that investigates the interaction of the immune system with the skeleton. Osteoimmunology has contributed significantly to th...

    Georg Schett

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:210

    Published on: 30 January 2009

  20. Review

    Vascular involvement in rheumatic diseases: 'vascular rheumatology'

    The vasculature plays a crucial role in inflammation, angiogenesis, and atherosclerosis associated with the pathogenesis of inflammatory rheumatic diseases, hence the term 'vascular rheumatology'. The endothel...

    Zoltán Szekanecz and Alisa E Koch

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008 10:224

    Published on: 10 October 2008

  21. Review

    Developments in the scientific understanding of lupus

    Systemic lupus erythematosus is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by the production of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs). Recent research into human and murine lupus suggests that disease susceptibility ...

    Stacy P Ardoin and David S Pisetsky

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008 10:218

    Published on: 10 October 2008

  22. Review

    Stem cell transplantation for rheumatic autoimmune diseases

    Immunoablative therapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an intensive treatment modality aimed at 'resetting' the dysregulated immune system of a patient with immunoablative therapy and all...

    Thomas Hügle and Jacob M van Laar

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008 10:217

    Published on: 10 October 2008

  23. Review

    Mesenchymal stem cells in arthritic diseases

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), the nonhematopoietic progenitor cells found in various adult tissues, are characterized by their ease of isolation and their rapid growth in vitro while maintaining their differenti...

    Faye H Chen and Rocky S Tuan

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008 10:223

    Published on: 10 October 2008

  24. Review

    Epigenetic modifications in rheumatoid arthritis

    Over the last decades, genetic factors for rheumatoid diseases like the HLA haplotypes have been studied extensively. However, during the past years of research, it has become more and more evident that the in...

    Simon Strietholt, Britta Maurer, Marvin A Peters, Thomas Pap and Steffen Gay

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008 10:219

    Published on: 10 October 2008

  25. Review

    Developments in the scientific and clinical understanding of gout

    Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the elderly. In the last two decades, both hyperuricemia and gout have increased markedly and similar trends in the epidemiology of the metabolic syndr...

    Alexander So

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008 10:221

    Published on: 10 October 2008

  26. Review

    What magnetic resonance imaging has told us about the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis – the first 50 years

    Modern imaging modalities, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are valuable diagnostic and therapy monitoring tools in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This article reviewed how these imaging modalities have...

    Dennis McGonagle and Ai Lyn Tan

    Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008 10:222

    Published on: 10 October 2008

    The Erratum to this article has been published in Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009 11:401