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Takayasu's arteritis characterised by disturbances of B cell homeostasis responds to B cell depletion with rituximab
  1. B F Hoyer,
  2. K Loddenkemper,
  3. I M Mumtaz,
  4. A Bruns,
  5. C Sengler,
  6. K-G Hermann,
  7. S Maza,
  8. R Keitzer,
  9. G-R Burmester,
  10. F Buttgereit,
  11. A Radbruch,
  12. F Hiepe
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Germany

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Takayasu's arteritis (TA) is a large vessel vasculitis of unknown origin involving the aorta and its major branches. T cell mediated autoimmunity is thought to play a major role in its pathogenesis. Based on findings in one patient with highly active disease we analysed for the first time the B cell compartment of patients with TA and could show that marked expansion of plasma cells can be found that correlates with disease activity and therefore qualifies as a novel biomarker. In addition treatment with the B cell depleting agent Rituximab proved to be successful in refractory patients. Therefore the role of B cells in TA needs to be reconsidered.

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