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Progress in spondylarthritis. Mechanisms of new bone formation in spondyloarthritis

Rik JU Lories*, Frank P Luyten and Kurt de Vlam

Author Affiliations

Laboratory for Skeletal Development and Joint Disorders, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Musculoskeletal Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:221  doi:10.1186/ar2642

Published: 27 April 2009


Targeted therapies that neutralize tumour necrosis factor are often able to control the signs and symptoms of spondyloarthritis. However, recent animal model data and clinical observations indicate that control of inflammation may not be sufficient to impede disease progression toward ankylosis in these patients. Bone morphogenetic proteins and WNTs (wingless-type like) are likely to play an important role in ankylosis and could be therapeutic targets. The relationship between inflammation and new bone formation is still unclear. This review summarizes progress made in our understanding of ankylosis and offers an alternative view of the relationship between inflammation and ankylosis.