Rheumatoid arthritis: opposing actions of haemopoietic growth factors and slow-acting anti-rheumatic drugs

Lancet. 1993 Aug 28;342(8870):536-9. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(93)91653-4.


The pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and the mode of action of anti-rheumatic drugs are unknown. This hypothesis proposes that haemopoietic growth factors (colony stimulating factors [CSFs]) have an important role in rheumatoid arthritis as regulators of myelopoiesis and as activators of inflammatory leucocytes. It also suggests that slow-acting anti-rheumatic drugs may work by inhibiting myelopoiesis. This opposition to one of the actions of the CSFs would result in fewer inflammatory cells in the inflamed joints.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / physiology*
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Humans


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors