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Reference maps of healthy human tissues are vital for understanding how signalling between stromal and immune cell populations becomes dysregulated in inflammatory diseases and for the interpretation of genetic information from genome wide association studies (GWAS). In order to inform our investigations of ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis we are using single-cell transcriptomics to build atlases of the cells present in embryonic and adult human joints. This work is funded by the MRC as part of the global Human Cell Atlas (HCA) initiative.