The pathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis

Lancet. 2018 Jun 2;391(10136):2273-2284. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30830-4. Epub 2018 Jun 1.


Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic, immune-mediated, inflammatory arthropathy that presents with inflammation of the joints and entheses, including those of the axial skeleton, and is associated with increased mortality from cardiovascular disease. Diagnosis is primarily based on clinical phenotype because of the diversity of the associated features, which can include skin and nail disease, dactylitis, uveitis, and osteitis. Improved understanding of the pathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis has led to the development of effective biologics and small-molecular drugs targeting specific cytokines and signalling pathways, which can prevent disease progression and improve quality of life. However, at least 40% of patients with psoriatic arthritis have only a partial response or fail to respond to such treatments. Cytokine inhibitors, mainly those specific for tumour necrosis factor and, more recently, the interleukin 23-T-helper-17 cell pathway, have been highly successful in the treatment of disease manifestations in several different tissues, although targeting the interleukin 23-T-helper-17 cell pathway might be more effective in psoriasis than in arthritis. However, the precise mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis-which include genetics, environmental factors, and immune-mediated inflammation-are complex, and the relationship between disease of the joint and that of other domains is poorly understood. Improving our understanding of psoriatic arthritis pathogenesis could help to establish validated biomarkers for diagnosis, predict therapeutic response and remission, develop precision medicines, and predict which patients will respond to which therapy. We discuss advances in pathogenetic translational research that could inform these issues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / etiology*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / pathology*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / therapy
  • Humans