Pathogenesis and Therapy of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • R. O. Williams
Conference paper
Part of the Ernst Schering Foundation Symposium Proceedings book series (SCHERING FOUND, volume 2006/1)


Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disabling disease affecting at least 1% of the population on a worldwide basis. Research aimed at understanding the pathogenesis of this disease led to the identification of TNFα as a major pro-inflammatory cytokine expressed in the inflamed joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Subsequently, in vitro studies provided evidence to suggest that TNFα played an important role in driving the expression of additional pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1, GM-CSF, IL-6, and IL-8, in synovial cell cultures. Another important finding that confirmed the pathological significance of TNFα was that mice genetically engineered to overexpress TNFα spontaneously developed arthritis. Subsequently, the therapeutic effect TNFα blockade was tested in animal models prior to clinical trials in human patients, which provided unequivocal verification of the validity of TNFα as a therapeutic target. Anti-TNFα therapy is now accepted as a fully-validated treatment modality for rheumatoid arthritis.


Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Level Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovium Human Rheumatoid Arthritis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Arthritis Research Campaign (ARC) of Great Britain.


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© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology DivisionImperial College LondonLondonUK

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