PerspectiveImmunology

Arsonists in Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Science  29 Jan 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5965, pp. 528-529
DOI: 10.1126/science.1185869

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Summary

Platelets are small anucleate cells that circulate in the blood of mammals and are critical effectors of hemostasis, blood clotting, and wound repair. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease of humans that involves the innate and adaptive limbs of the host immune system, and is thought to be autoimmune in nature. Traditionally, platelets and rheumatoid arthritis don't go together. On page 580 of this issue, Boilard et al. (1) report that they do—microparticles released by platelets may be incendiary devices in the conflagration of a hot, swollen, and painful rheumatoid joint.