Advances in experimental models of rheumatoid arthritis

Eur J Immunol. 2023 Jan;53(1):e2249962. doi: 10.1002/eji.202249962. Epub 2022 Nov 18.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease characterized by persistent articular inflammation and joint damage. RA was first described over 200 years ago; however, its etiology and pathophysiology remain insufficiently understood. The current treatment of RA is mainly empirical or based on the current understanding of etiology with limited efficacy and/or substantial side effects. Thus, the development of safer and more potent therapeutics, validated and optimized in experimental models, is urgently required. To improve the transition from bench to bedside, researchers must carefully select the appropriate experimental models as well as draw the right conclusions. Here, we summarize the establishment, pathological features, potential mechanisms, advantages, and limitations of the currently available RA models. The aim of the review is to help researchers better understand available RA models; discuss future trends in RA model development, which can help highlight new translational and human-based avenues in RA research.

Keywords: experimental model; mechanism; pathogenesis; rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid*
  • Humans
  • Joints / pathology
  • Models, Theoretical