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T-lymphocytes are thought to play a major role in the pathogenesis of a number of autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Techniques have recently been developed to study the T-cell receptor (TCR) usage of individual T-cells, and are likely to give major insight into the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases. We describe the development of the TCR repertoire and the techniques available to study it. There is evidence that germline TCR complex polymorphisms may contribute to genetic susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis. A number of studies have looked at rheumatoid synovial T-lymphocytes, some of which have found restricted TCR usage.

Original publication




Journal article


Br j rheumatol

Publication Date





3 - 8


Animals, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Autoimmune Diseases, Genome, Humans, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, Rheumatic Diseases