The remission of rheumatoid arthritis during pregnancy

Semin Immunopathol. 2007 Jun;29(2):185-91. doi: 10.1007/s00281-007-0072-5.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that is favorably influenced by pregnancy but relapses after delivery. A variety of circulating factors has been considered as candidates for inducing gestational improvement of RA; however, the factors/pathways responsible remain still elusive. This review discusses recent research on the effect of pregnancy on RA with a focus on immunregulation, cytokine secretion, HLA antigens, microchimerism, and innate immunity. The complex hormonal and immunological alterations of pregnancy may temporarily correct the disturbed immunregulation of RA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Female
  • HLA Antigens / immunology*
  • HLA Antigens / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • Lymphokines / blood
  • Lymphokines / immunology*
  • Lymphokines / metabolism
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / immunology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / immunology
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Remission, Spontaneous


  • HLA Antigens
  • Lymphokines