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Project 2
Rheumatoid arthritis involves thickening of the joint synovium (left panel). Single-cell analysis identified five populations of stromal cells in a mouse model (Mm STIA) that show similarity to cells found in human disease (Hs RA) (centre and right panels).

Although fibroblasts have an established role in the pathogenesis of immune mediated inflammatory disease, their ontology and functional heterogeneity is poorly characterised.  In a recent collaboration with Professor Chris Buckley we used a single-cell approach to characterise distinct populations of synovial and stromal cells that drive inflammation and damage in mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis (Croft et. al., Nature 2019). In work supported by the MRC we are extending this research to model synovial fibroblast phenotypes across the disease course and investigate their developmental origins.