Tissue-resident memory T cells: The key frontier in local synovitis memory of rheumatoid arthritis.
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Cited by: 2


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a highly disabling, systemic autoimmune disease. It presents a remarkable tendency to recur, which renders it almost impossible for patients to live without drugs. Under such circumstances, many patients have to suffer the pain of recurrent attacks as well as the side effects of long-term medication. Current therapies for RA are primarily systemic treatments without targeting the problem that RA is more likely to recur locally. Emerging studies suggest the existence of a mechanism mediating local memory during RA, which is closely related to the persistent residence of tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM). TRM, one of the memory T cell subsets, reside in tissues providing immediate immune protection but driving recurrent local inflammation on the other hand. The heterogeneity among synovial TRM is unclear, with the dominated CD8+ TRM observed in inflamed synovium of RA patients coming into focus. Besides local arthritis relapse, TRM may also contribute to extra-articular organ involvement in RA due to their migration potential. Future integration of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) with spatial transcriptomics to explore the gene expression patterns of TRM in both temporal dimension and spatial dimension may help us identify specific therapeutic targets. Targeting synovial TRM to suppress local arthritis flares while using systemic therapies to prevent extra-articular organ involvement may provide a new perspective to address RA recurrence.


Spatial Transcriptomics
Local recurrence
Local synovitis memory
Rheumatoid arthritis
Single-cell RNA sequencing
Therapeutic target
Tissue-resident memory T cell

MeSH terms

Memory T Cells
Arthritis, Rheumatoid


Gao, Anqi
Zhao, Wenpeng
Wu, Ruihe
Su, Rui
Jin, Ruqing
Luo, Jing
Gao, Chong
Li, Xiaofeng
Wang, Caihong