Osteoimmunology and bone homeostasis: relevance to spondyloarthritis

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2013 Jul;15(7):342. doi: 10.1007/s11926-013-0342-2.


The seronegative spondyloarthopathies (SpA) share certain common articular and peri-articular features that differ from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other forms of inflammatory arthritis. These include the tendency of the SpAs to involve the axial skeleton in addition to the diarthrodial joints, and the prominent involvement of the extra-articular entheses (sites of ligamentous and tendon insertion), which are not common sites of primary pathology in RA and other inflammatory arthropathies. The differential anatomic sites of bone pathology in the SpAs in comparison to the other forms of arthritis suggest that the underlying pathogenic processes and cellular and molecular mechanisms that account for the peri-articular bone pathology involve different underlying disease mechanisms. This review will highlight the molecular and cellular processes that are involved in the pathogenesis of the skeletal pathology in the SpAs, and provide evidence that many of the factors involved in regulation of bone cell function exhibit potent immune-regulatory activity, providing support for the general concept of osteoimmunology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Remodeling / immunology*
  • Homeostasis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation / physiology
  • Spondylarthritis / immunology*
  • Spondylarthritis / physiopathology
  • Synovial Membrane / immunology