The interplay between inflammation and metabolism in rheumatoid arthritis

M. S. Chimenti, P. Triggianese, P. Conigliaro, E. Candi, G. Melino, R. Perricone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by extensive synovitis resulting in erosions of articular cartilage and marginal bone that lead to joint destruction. The autoimmune process in RA depends on the activation of immune cells, which use intracellular kinases to respond to external stimuli such as cytokines, immune complexes, and antigens. An intricate cytokine network participates in inflammation and in perpetuation of disease by positive feedback loops promoting systemic disorder. The widespread systemic effects mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines in RA impact on metabolism and in particular in lymphocyte metabolism. Moreover, RA pathobiology seems to share some common pathways with atherosclerosis, including endothelial dysfunction that is related to underlying chronic inflammation. The extent of the metabolic changes and the types of metabolites seen may be good markers of cytokine-mediated inflammatory processes in RA. Altered metabolic fingerprints may be useful in predicting the development of RA in patients with early arthritis as well as in the evaluation of the treatment response. Evidence supports the role of metabolomic analysis as a novel and nontargeted approach for identifying potential biomarkers and for improving the clinical and therapeutical management of patients with chronic inflammatory diseases. Here, we review the metabolic changes occurring in the pathogenesis of RA as well as the implication of the metabolic features in the treatment response. & 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1887
JournalCell Death and Disease
Publication statusPublished - Feb 5 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology
  • Cancer Research
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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