Published online Sep 18, 2014. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v5.i4.516
Revised: April 5, 2014
Accepted: May 16, 2014
Published online: September 18, 2014
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, resulting in a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder. It may affect many tissues and organs, but it primarily affects the flexible joints. In clinical practice patient care generates many questions about diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. It is challenging for health care specialists to keep up to date with the medical literature. This review summarizes the pathogenesis, the polymorphisms of interleukin and interleukin genes and the standard available and possible future immunologic targets for RA treatment. The identification of disease-associated interleukin and interleukin receptor genes can provide precious insight into the genetic variations prior to disease onset in order to identify the pathways important for RA pathogenesis. The knowledge of the complex genetic background may prove useful for developing novel therapies and making personalized medicine based on the individual’s genetics.
Core tip: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, resulting in a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder. It may affect many tissues and organs, but mainly attacks the flexible joints. This review provides a comprehensive overview about the genetic background, especially with regard to inflammatory cytokines to understand the pathogenesis of the disease. Furthermore it summarizes the current therapy and the future therapeutic agents for RA.