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MAPKs and their relevance to arthritis and inflammation.

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease in which imbalances in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines promote the induction of autoimmunity, inflammation and joint destruction. The importance of inflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of RA has been underscored by the success of biologics that act to block the effects of cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1 or IL-6, in treating disease. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) have been implicated as playing key regulatory roles in the production of these pro-inflammatory cytokines and downstream signalling events leading to joint inflammation and destruction. This article reviews the evidence that MAPKs play important roles in the pathogenesis of RA and discusses their therapeutic potential as drug targets.

Keywords: inflammatory cytokines, cytokines, inflammatory

Authored by Thalhamer T, McGrath MA, Harnett MM. Division of Immunology, Infection and Inflammation, Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre, University of Glasgow, 120 University Place, Glasgow G12 8TA, UK.

Published in Rheumatology (Oxford). 2008 Apr;47(4):409-14. Epub 2008 Jan 10. The full report is available online. link   A subscription to the periodical may be required.

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