Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2013 Nov;15(11):372. doi: 10.1007/s11926-013-0372-9.

Epigenetics in rheumatoid arthritis: a primer for rheumatologists.

Author information

  • 1La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA, USA,


Epigenetic anomalies are emerging as key pathogenic features of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The effect of epigenetics in RA ranges from contributing to complex disease mechanisms to identifying biomarkers for early diagnosis and response to therapy. This review focuses on three key epigenetic areas in RA, namely DNA methylation, histone modification, and expression and/or function of microRNAs. Epigenomics studies of DNA methylation have identified alterations of genome-wide DNA methylation in cells from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Histone modification studies have focused on histone acetylation, which tends to be increased in RA. Preclinical studies show that inhibitors of histone deacetylases are effective in cellular and animal models of RA. Genome-wide and candidate microRNA surveys identified increased or reduced expression of selected microRNAs in rheumatoid arthritis. These microRNA are either pro or anti-inflammatory in multiple cell types or affect osteoclast physiology and the pathogenesis of bone erosion. Defining epigenetic contributions to the pathogenesis of RA, especially in combination with understanding genetic associations, could lead to novel therapy and a clearer understanding of disease risk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center