The eye: a window of opportunity in rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the most common autoimmune disorder associated with dry eye syndrome, is also associated with sight-threatening ocular diseases such as peripheral ulcerative keratitis, scleritis and corneal melts. Tissue damage on the ocular surface of patients with RA is autoimmune-mediated. Findings from patients with dry eye have implicated defects in innate immunity (Toll-like receptors, S100A and resident antigen-presenting cells), cytokines, chemokines and T helper (TH)-cell subsets (including TH1 and TH17) in disease pathogenesis. Some of these features are probably important in dry eye related to RA, which can occur at a different time from articular disease and is more clinically severe than idiopathic dry eye. Ocular surface immune factors can be influenced by the systemic immune landscape. Depending on the severity of ocular inflammation in RA, treatment can include ciclosporin, topical corticosteroids, tacrolimus, autologous serum and systemic immunosuppression. Tissue damage is treated by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinases. Potential therapeutic strategies benefit from an improved understanding of ocular surface immunology, and include targeting of T-cell subsets, B-cell signalling or cytokines.
Tong, L; Thumboo, J; Tan, YK; Wong, T-Y; Albani, S
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