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Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2014 Oct;28(5):765-77. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2014.10.008. Epub 2014 Nov 1.

Bone formation in axial spondyloarthritis.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Tissue Homeostasis and Disease, Skeletal Biology and Engineering Research Center, KU Leuven, Belgium; Division of Rheumatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address: Rik.Lories@uz.kuleuven.be.
2
Division of Rheumatology, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada; University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

The success of targeted therapies directed against tumor necrosis factor for patients with spondyloarthritis has shifted the focus of physicians and scientists towards the prevention of structural damage to the involved structures, in particular the sacroiliac joints and the spine, to avoid loss of function and disability. Structural damage to the skeleton as witnessed by radiography mainly consists of new bone formation potentially progressively leading to spine or joint ankylosis. This important long-term outcome parameter has been difficult to study, not alone because the time window for change may be long but also because human tissues with direct translational relevance are rarely available. Data from rodent models have identified growth factor signaling pathways as relevant targets. Both human and animal studies have tried to understand the link between inflammation and new bone formation. At the current moment, most evidence points towards a strong link between both but with the question still lingering about the sequence of events, disease triggers, and the interdependence of both features of disease. New discoveries such as a masterswitch T cell population that carries the IL23 receptor and the analysis of auto-antibodies directed again noggin and sclerostin are contributing to innovative insights into the pathophysiology of disease. Long-term data with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors also suggest that some window of opportunity may exist to inhibit structural disease progression. All these data provide support for a further critical analysis of the available datasets and boost research in the field. The introduction of novel disease definitions, in particular the characterization of non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis patients, will likely be instrumental in our further understanding of structural damage.

KEYWORDS:

Ankylosing spondylitis; Anti-TNF; Bone; Cartilage; Inflammation; Spondyloarthritis

PMID:
25488783
DOI:
10.1016/j.berh.2014.10.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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