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Highly Accessed Open Badges Review

Osteoimmunology in rheumatic diseases

Georg Schett

Author Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine 3 and Institute for Clinical Immunology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:210  doi:10.1186/ar2571

Published: 30 January 2009


This review summarizes the recent advances of osteoimmunology, a new research field that investigates the interaction of the immune system with the skeleton. Osteoimmunology has contributed significantly to the understanding of joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthropathies. In particular, the molecular regulation of osteoclast formation and its control by proinflammatory cytokines have helped investigators to understand the mechanisms of bone erosion in rheumatic diseases. Osteoimmunology has also allowed an improvement in our knowledge of the structure-sparing effects of antirheumatic drug therapy. Moreover, recent advances in the understanding of the molecular regulation of osteophyte formation are based on the characterization of the regulation of bone formation by inflammation. This review highlights the key insights into the regulation of bone destruction and formation in arthritis. Moreover, concepts of how bone influences the immune system are discussed.