Studying the interactions between different cells that can cause joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.

Disease - Rheumatoid arthritis

Lead applicant - Dr Elisa Corsiero

Organisation - William Harvey Research Institute

Type of grant - Career Development Fellowship

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £286,778.00

Start date - 02 January 2020

Reference - 22440

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

This research aims to better understand how the interaction between white blood cells and fibroblasts causes inflammation and joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Why is this research important?

Previous research has shown that in rheumatoid arthritis, B cells (a type of white blood cell) interact with cells called fibroblasts in the joint. This changes the normal behaviour of fibroblasts, which can cause inflammation, leading to cartilage and bone damage.

This is in part caused by B cells producing antibodies that act as signals to other cells to trigger inflammation. However, it is not clear how these antibodies alter the behaviour of fibroblasts. This research aims to better understand this process by exploring how they interact, and how the fibroblasts from people rheumatoid arthritis change in response to the antibodies.

The researchers will also explore the role of these antibodies in inflammation and the development of arthritis in mice.

How will the findings benefit patients?

Better understanding of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis could help to develop new tests to diagnose the condition. Also knowing how fibroblasts contribute to this inflammation could open new opportunities to develop treatments for rheumatoid arthritis in the future.