Targeting cytokines beyond tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 in rheumatoid arthritis

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2005 Dec;9(6):405-11. doi: 10.1007/s11916-005-0020-9.


Targeting tumor necrosis factor-a has proven of considerable value in treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, with substantial benefits achieved in a proportion of treated patients. However, a significant number of patients do not achieve sufficient improvement and as a result there remains considerable unmet clinical need. A number of cytokines have recently been described with proinflammatory activity in rheumatoid arthritis synovitis, including interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12, IL-15, and IL-18. We review recent data that support the notion that some or all of these moieties offer therapeutic potential. The possibility that some may be useful in partial responders to tumor necrosis factor blocking agents or in synergy with the latter is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukins / physiology*
  • Interleukins / therapeutic use


  • Interleukins