An update on research advances in rheumatoid arthritis: from clinic to basic science
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease characterised by breach of self-tolerance and production of autoantibodies, particularly rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA). Many events can lead to loss of tolerance in RA and they include genetic, environmental and epigenetic factors as well as post-translational modifications. Current therapies in RA tend to treat symptoms or slow down the disease progression but no cure exists at the moment. This review provides a summary of the main recent research advances regarding new therapies in RA and new studies about the effect of genetic, environment and epigenetics in this autoimmune disease. Moreover, it summarises the present knowledge about the role of “new” autoantibodies in RA focussing on anti-carbamylated protein antibodies (anti-CarP), anti-hinge antibodies, anti-acetylated protein antibodies and anti-malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde adducts (MAA) antibody. Finally, a brief summary on the recent role of Fab N-glycosylation is reported.