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"Rheumatoid Arthritis": A balanced overview of current research


This is a brief review of the third volume of the series edited by AN Theofilopoulos, "Current Directions in Autoimmunity". This hard-cover volume comprises 282 pages, 46 figures and 14 tables. The book has a cover price of 196 Swiss Francs, or 255 Deutschmarks, or 170.50 US dollars.


Rheumatoid Arthritis, edited by JJ Goronzy and CM Weyand, is the third volume of the series "Current Directions in Autoimmunity" edited by AN Theofilopoulos [1]. This book gives a balanced overview of the current directions in basic research, focusing on pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. The chapters have been written by a nice mix of authors coming from different parts of the world.


The outline of this book follows a logical line of reasoning from genes (human and animal) to human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) to T cells, to joint-specific processes such as homing of inflammatory cells in the synovium, to synoviocytes. Although this outline makes the book very pleasant to read, the outline leads to a lot of overlapping data, repeatedly presented in the various chapters. The chapters on T cells are by themselves beautiful masterpieces, but it is disturbing that a chapter on dendritic cells and the crosstalk between T cells and dendritic cells in regulation of T-cell reactivity is lacking. Interestingly, the index lacked subjects such as "proteoglycans", "OPG" (osteoprotegerin) and "RANK" (receptor activator of NF-κB). The last part of the book, on "the role of TNF in rheumatoid arthritis" and "biologics in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis", shows overlap as well, although the different perspectives presented in the various chapters provide the reader with a balanced view in this field.


This book presents nice, well written reviews of the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and provides the reader with a very focused view of the current directions taken by research in rheumatology. Obviously, such a focused view implies that this book lacks information on various other important subjects that have contributed equally well to our understanding of the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis.


  1. Goronzy JJ, Weyand CM: Rheumatoid Arthritis. Basel: Karger; 2001. [Theofilopoulos AN (Series Editor): Current Directions in Autoimmunity, vol 3.]. 2001, . [Theofilopoulos AN (Series Editor): Current Directions in Autoimmunity, vol 3.]

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Correspondence to Thomas WJ Huizinga.

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Huizinga, T.W. "Rheumatoid Arthritis": A balanced overview of current research. Arthritis Res Ther 3, 241 (2001).

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