Pathogenesis and therapies of immune-mediated myopathies

Autoimmun Rev. 2012 Jan;11(3):203-6. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2011.05.013. Epub 2011 May 18.


The most common autoimmune muscle disorders include dermatomyositis (DM), polymyositis (PM), necrotizing autoimmune myositis (NAM) and sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM). DM is a complement-mediated microangiopathy leading to destruction of capillaries, hypoperfusion and inflammatory cell stress on the perifascicular regions. NAM is an increasingly recognized subacute myopathy triggered by statins, viral infections, cancer or autoimmunity with macrophages as the final effector cells causing fiber injury. PM and IBM are T cell-mediated disorders where cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells clonally expand in situ and invade major histocompatibility complex class I expressing muscle fibers. In sIBM, in addition to autoreactive T cells, there are degenerative features characterized by vacuolization and accumulation of stressor or amyloid-related misfolded proteins; an interrelationship between inflammatory and degeneration-associated molecules is prominent and enhances the cascade of pathogenic factors. These disorders are treatable, hence the need to make the correct diagnosis from the outset. The applied therapeutic strategies are outlined and the promising new agents are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / immunology
  • Autoimmunity
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Complex Diseases / diagnosis
  • Immune Complex Diseases / etiology
  • Immune Complex Diseases / immunology
  • Immune Complex Diseases / therapy*
  • Myositis / diagnosis
  • Myositis / etiology
  • Myositis / immunology
  • Myositis / therapy*
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Protein Folding


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides