IgG4-related disease

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Remarkable insights have been gleaned recently with regard to the pathophysiology of IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD). These findings have direct implications for the development of targeted strategies for the treatment of this condition.

Recent findings

Oligoclonal expansions of cells of both the B and T lymphocyte lineages are present in the blood of patients with IgG4-RD. Oligoclonal expansions of plasmablasts are a good biomarker for disease activity. An oligoclonally expanded population of CD4+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes is found not only in the peripheral blood but also at tissue sites of active disease. This cell elaborates cytokines that may drive the fibrosis characteristic of IgG4-RD. T follicular helper cells (Tfhc), particularly the Tfhc2 subset, appear to play a major role in driving the class switch to IgG4 that typifies this disease. The relationship between malignancy and IgG4-RD remains an area of interest.

Summary

Advances in understanding the pathophysiology of IgG4-RD have proceeded swiftly, leading to the identification of a number of potential targeted treatment strategies. The completion of classification criteria for IgG4-RD, an effort supported jointly by the American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism, will further facilitate studies on this disease.

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