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We have recently demonstrated that interleukin (IL)-22, mainly produced by T-helper 17 effector cells, natural killer (NK)p44+NK cells and epithelial cells, may be potentially involved in the pathogenesis of primary Sjogren's syndrome (pSS).1 The IL-22/IL-22R pathway is known to play a role in the emergence of T and B-cell lymphoma2 ,3 and pSS is considered a risk factor for the development of lymphoma.4
Rituximab, which has historically been used for the treatment of B-cell lymphoma,5 has also been considered to be effective in the therapy of pSS.6
Ten consecutive patients with pSS (eight women and two men, with a mean duration of disease of 48±18 months), diagnosed according to the American–European Consensus Group criteria for pSS,7 who were treated with two courses of intravenous infusions of 1000 mg rituximab (Roche, Woerden, The Netherlands) at days 1 and 15, at baseline and then after 6 months, were considered for this study. After 48 weeks the patients again underwent salivary gland biopsy. The demographic, clinical and histological characteristics of …
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