Rheumatoid arthritis and its animal models: the role of TNF-alpha and the possible absence of specific immune reactions

Curr Opin Immunol. 1999 Dec;11(6):657-62. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(99)00033-3.


Rheumatoid arthritis is an organ-specific inflammatory disease of humans. Recent studies have focused on associations with non-MHC genes, new autoantigens and the role of innate immune responses. The success of anti-TNF-alpha in the majority (but, interestingly, not all) of patients has implications for disease mechanisms but the dangers of long-term therapy are becoming clearer. A number of new models of arthritis have been defined and emphasize the importance of the genetic make-up of the host. Attention has also focused on why the joint is a particularly vulnerable site for inflammatory responses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology*


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha