In collaboration with Medical Inflammation Research (Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease involving autoimmunity to citrullinated proteins, IgG and articular type II collagen (CII). Today’s prognosis of patients with newly diagnosed RA is not as discouraging as it once was, thanks to recent improvements in diagnostics as well as new treatment regimes based on either biological or chemical disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). However, the disease is not cured and serious side effects are still an acute problem.
Given the fact that adaptive immunity directed to CII as well as citrullinated proteins contributes to onset and progression of the disease through both cellular and humoral effector mechanisms we develop and generate triple helical peptides mimicking the natural CII-antigen as tools to understand RA-specific pathogenic processes with the ultimate goal to develop an antigen-based vaccination.