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Checkpoint Molecules in Rheumatology—or the Benefits of Being Exhausted

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Purpose of Review: This review will focus on the most common co-inhibitory molecules, emphasizing the importance of these in relation to rheumatic disease. Recent Findings: Checkpoint molecules are pivotal in determining the outcome of antigen activation. Checkpoint molecules consist of co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory molecules, where the first activates and the latter inhibits the antigen presentation process. Studies show that increased activity of co-inhibitory molecules is associated with a good prognosis in rheumatic diseases. Opposite, when cancer patients are treated with antibodies blocking the inhibitory pathways, autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, develop as immune-related adverse events (IrAE). This emphasizes the importance of these pathways in autoimmune disease. Summary: Co-inhibitory molecules are becoming increasingly interesting as future treatment targets in rheumatic conditions. Treatments with antibodies blocking these pathways result in IrAE, often manifesting as autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Therefore, a need to get acquainted with these molecules is growing so we can cope with future challenges in rheumatic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalCurrent Rheumatology Reports
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature.

    Research areas

  • Autoimmunity, Co-inhibitory molecules, Exhausted T cells, Rheumatic diseases

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