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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a heterogeneous chronic immune-mediated inflammatory disease, associated with significant morbidity and reduced life expectancy. Here, we review recent discoveries; particularly those which have attempted to integrate genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with biological pathways and cell types known to play a role in disease pathology in order to expand our current understanding of the pathogenesis of RA. As the role of stromal cells in the pathogenesis of RA has been reviewed in detail in Current Opinions in Rheumatology, this area will not be covered in this review. RECENT FINDINGS: Although our understandings of the pathogenic processes that drive disease in RA remain incomplete, remarkable advances over the past year can be highlighted. GWAS have raised awareness of important new risk loci with genes that either are the targets of approved therapies for RA, or involve pathways for drugs that could be repurposed from other disease indications such as cancer. Furthermore, promising strides have been made in predicting the likelihood of developing RA in those at risk using human leukocyte antigen (HLA), smoking, and autoantibody status prediction models. These findings give a fresh insight into RA pathogenesis and help identify new, or repurpose known therapeutic targets from other disease areas. SUMMARY: The findings discussed in this review underscore the progress made to date and the need for future studies, investigating disease mechanisms in RA, with particular interest in at-risk RA gene loci, their function in immune and stromal cells within the synovium, and how they interact with environmental factors to initiate and perpetuate disease.

Original publication

DOI

10.1097/BOR.0000000000000174

Type

Journal article

Journal

Curr Opin Rheumatol

Publication Date

05/2015

Volume

27

Pages

249 - 255

Keywords

Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Autoantibodies, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genome-Wide Association Study, Humans