Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is highly heterogeneous in terms of etiology and clinical presentation with ambiguity in JIA classification. The advance of high-throughput omics technologies in recent years has gained us significant knowledge about the molecular mechanisms of JIA. Besides a minor proportion of JIA cases as monogenic, most JIA cases are polygenic disease caused by autoimmune mechanisms. A number of HLA alleles (including both HLA class I and class II genes), and 23 non-HLA genetic loci have been identified of association with different JIA subtypes. Omics technologies, i.e., transcriptome profiling and epigenomic analysis, contributed significant knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of JIA in addition to the genetic approach. New molecular knowledge on different JIA subtypes enables us to reconsider the JIA classification, but also highlights novel therapeutic targets to develop a cure for the devastating JIA.
Keywords: epigenetics; genetics; genome-wide association study; juvenile idiopathic arthritis; transcriptome.