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We appreciate Dr Roudier’s interest and comment on our recent article.1 2 The aim of our study was to analyse the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR-associated peptidome of synovial tissue (ST) and of dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed with synovial fluid (SF) or ST, to identify epitopes that trigger T cell responses in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Dr Roudier is indeed correct when he asserts that our study is biased toward the synovium. However, we consider that ours is not a ‘conception bias’ but a deliberate effort to focus our attention on a particular tissue as a source of autoantigens, incidentally the main target of the inflammatory response in RA.
It is far from our intention to claim that only synovial antigens are relevant in driving RA autoimmune responses. Our hypothesis assumes, instead, that …
Handling editor Josef S Smolen
Contributors DC, DJ and JCA participated in drafting the response letter.
Funding This research was funded by Fondecyt-ANID-Chile (grant number: 1181853).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.