Seminars in Immunopathology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 185–191 | Cite as

The remission of rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy

  • Monika ØstensenEmail author
  • Peter M. Villiger


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that is favorably influenced by pregnancy but relapses after delivery. A variety of circulating factors has been considered as candidates for inducing gestational improvement of RA; however, the factors/pathways responsible remain still elusive. This review discusses recent research on the effect of pregnancy on RA with a focus on immunregulation, cytokine secretion, HLA antigens, microchimerism, and innate immunity. The complex hormonal and immunological alterations of pregnancy may temporarily correct the disturbed immunregulation of RA.


Pregnancy Rheumatoid arthritis Hormones Immune response Microchimerism 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinic for Rheumatology and Clinical ImmunologyUniversity Hospital of BerneBernSwitzerland

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