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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by persistent synovial inflammation leading to tissue destruction and progressive loss of joint function. Here we describe two methods that can be used to assess the contribution of toll-like receptors (TLRs), and their potential ligands, to RA pathogenesis. We focus on the antigen-induced model of murine arthritis and human synovial tissue explant models. Both enable detection of TLR, and TLR ligand, expression, as well as investigation of the effect of inhibition of these molecules. Each offers a unique insight into disease; with murine models allowing kinetic analysis in live animals and explant models allowing examination of inflamed human tissue, which together can help us to dissect the role of TLRs in the onset and progression of RA.

Original publication





Publication Date





351 - 381


Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford, OX3 7FY, UK.


Synovial Membrane, Animals, Humans, Mice, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Disease Models, Animal, Antigens, Cytokines, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Flow Cytometry, Cell Culture Techniques, Immunohistochemistry, Phenotype, Toll-Like Receptors, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction