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We read with great interest the editorial by McGonagle et al1 on the recent study by Jacques et al.2 Jacques et al describe a series of elegant experiments in TNFΔARE mice demonstrating that mechanical unloading by tail suspension alleviates peripheral arthritis and explore the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon.
McGonagle et al begin their editorial by stating that Jacques et al demonstrated that experimental spondyloarthritis (SpA) might be a biomechanically triggered process. This conclusion is surprising as Jacques et al did not perform any experiments supporting this suggestion. On the contrary, their experiments used the opposite approach and indicated that mechanical unloading alleviates tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-induced arthritis. This is emphasised …