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01.08.2011 | Review | Ausgabe 4/2011

Arthritis Research & Therapy 4/2011

T-helper cells as new players in ANCA-associated vasculitides

Arthritis Research & Therapy > Ausgabe 4/2011
Wayel H Abdulahad, Peter Lamprecht, Cees GM Kallenberg
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​ar3362) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare they have no competing interests.


In anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated vasculitides (AAV), several observations support a key role of T-helper cells (CD4+ T cells) in disease pathophysiology. An expanded population of effector memory CD4+ T cells in AAV patients may contribute to tissue injury and disease progression. In addition, functional impairment of regulatory T cells (TRegs) is reported in AAV patients. A fraction of TRegs have the capacity to differentiate into Th17 cells in the context of a proinflammatory environment. Therefore, nonfunctionality of TRegs described in AAV patients may be caused by their conversion into IL-17-producing cells that may contribute to granulomatous vasculitis. Further investigations directed at the plasticity of TRegs in AAV patients are warranted.

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