Cytokines in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis

Nat Rev Immunol. 2007 Jun;7(6):429-42. doi: 10.1038/nri2094.


Cytokines regulate a broad range of inflammatory processes that are implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. In rheumatoid joints, it is well known that an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine activities favours the induction of autoimmunity, chronic inflammation and thereby joint damage. However, it remains less clear how cytokines are organized within a hierarchical regulatory network, and therefore which cytokines may be the best targets for clinical intervention a priori. Here, we discuss the crucial effector function of cytokines in the immunological processes that are central to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*


  • Cytokines