Endothelial dysfunction in rheumatoid arthritis: influence of HLA-DRB1 alleles

Autoimmun Rev. 2004 Jun;3(4):301-4. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2003.10.006.


Cardiovascular disease is the commonest cause of premature mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Vascular endothelial injury is the primary event in atherosclerosis. It has been associated with endothelial dysfunction. We have recently observed that actively treated RA patients had endothelial dysfunction. HLA-DRB1 shared epitope alleles, in particular HLA-DRB1*0404, seem to be implicated in the development of endothelial dysfunction. These results underline the influence of genetic factors in the risk of atherosclerosis in RA patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Epitopes / genetics
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Vasodilation


  • Epitopes
  • HLA-DR Antigens