Update on the pathogenesis and treatment of the antiphospholipid syndrome

Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2015 Sep;27(5):476-82. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000200.


Purpose of review: Many advancements in our understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) have been accomplished over the recent months. Such progresses are paralleled by the development of innovative pharmacological tools that could provide novel therapeutic windows in APS management. The most recent and innovative findings about the biologic effects of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) and the treatment APS will be hereby critically appraised.

Recent findings: Antibodies against the domain I of β2 glycoprotein I (β2GPI) are increasingly recognized as the main pathogenic subset; pioneer therapeutic options exploiting the pathogenicity of anti-domain I antibodies have been developed. AnnexinA2 and toll-like receptor (TLR)4 have been identified as the main receptors for β2GPI/anti-β2GPI antibodies on target cells; additional co-receptors might include TLR1, TLR2 and TLR6. Upon binding, aPLs engage intracellular mediators as nuclear factor kappa B and mammalian target of rapamycin, which provide potential therapeutic targets. Current innovative treatment options include novel oral anticoagulants and the complement inhibitor eculizumab. The addition to standard treatment of pleiotropic agents such as hydroxychloroquine, statins and vitamin D could allow better disease control.

Summary: The lively and intense research in the APS field opens new frontiers in aPL pathogenic mechanisms, as well as diagnosis and treatment of the syndrome.

Video abstract: http://links.lww.com/COR/A26.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid / immunology
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / immunology*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / therapy
  • Autoimmunity
  • Humans


  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid