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Autoimmun Rev. 2011 Jun;10(8):482-9. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2011.02.001. Epub 2011 Feb 12.

The pathogenesis of oligoarticular/polyarticular vs systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

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Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.


Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) has had a long and difficult problem with classification. It is clearly a heterogeneous and multi-factorial autoimmune disease but all too often the distinctions among subtypes were unclear. In fact, there is now increasing evidence of a distinct pathogenesis of oligo/polyarticular JIA compared to systemic JIA. Oligo/polyarticular JIA is an antigen-driven lymphocyte-mediated autoimmune disease with abnormality in the adaptive immune system. Cartilage-derived auto-antigens activate autoreactive T cells including Th1 and Th17 cells with production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IFN-γ and IL-17. On the other hand, the inhibition of regulatory T (Treg) cells including natural Foxp3(+) Treg and self-heat shock protein-induced Treg cells with decreased anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 results in the loss of immune tolerance. Imbalance between autoreactive Th1/Th17 and Treg cells leads to the failure of T cell tolerance to self-antigens, which contributes to the synovial inflammation of oligo/polyarticular JIA. By contrast, systemic JIA is an autoinflammatory disease with abnormality in the innate immune system. A loss of control of the alternative secretory pathway leading to aberrant activation of phagocytes including monocytes, macrophages and neutrophils seems to be involved in the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1, IL-6, IL-18 and pro-inflammatory S100-proteins, which contribute to the multisystem inflammation of systemic JIA. Markedly distinct pathogenesis of oligo/polyarticular JIA and systemic JIA implies that they might need different treatment strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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