Dissecting the role of multinucleated giant cells in the pathogenesis of giant cell arteritis


  • Dr Gary Reynolds

    Newcastle University

Project summary

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is caused by inflammation of blood vessels, particularly in the head. It causes symptoms including headaches and scalp tenderness. It is important to treat it early as it can result in swelling in the blood vessels with complications including sight loss and strokes. About a fifth of those affected will permanently lose vision in one or both eyes.

Giant cells develop in the walls of affected blood vessels where they produce factors that cause damage. When the body tries to repair this, the arteries thicken and block. We aim to look at why these cells develop in this disease and how they damage blood vessels. 

If we know more about giant cells we can develop treatments to prevent complications such as sight loss.