Immunopathology of synovitis: from histology to molecular pathways

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 Apr;55(4):599-606. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kev330. Epub 2015 Sep 10.


Increased knowledge about pathological processes active in inflammatory joint diseases is needed to initiate personalized medicine based on targeted treatments in the future. The molecular and cellular pathways that are active during joint inflammation may differ between the various inflammatory joint diseases, between different patient subgroups within one disease, or even between different stages of the disease in a single patient. In this review, we evaluate synovial inflammation in terms of descriptive histopathology through to more functional studies on human synovial tissue inflammation in RA and SpA, in phenotypic subgroups of RA and SpA patients, and during the disease course of both diseases.

Keywords: cytokines and inflammatory mediators; fibroblasts; histopathology; inflammation; lymphocytes; macrophages; microarrays/gene expression profiling/transcriptome; rheumatoid arthritis; spondylarthropathies; spondyloarthritis; synovium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Spondylarthropathies / genetics
  • Spondylarthropathies / immunology
  • Spondylarthropathies / pathology*
  • Synovial Membrane / immunology
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology
  • Synovitis / genetics
  • Synovitis / immunology
  • Synovitis / pathology*