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Role of IFN-α in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lookup NU author(s): Alice Lin, Professor John IsaacsORCiD, Dr Faye Cooles



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023, The Author(s).Purpose of Review: Type 1 interferons (IFN-I) are of increasing interest across a wide range of autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Historically, research into their role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been relatively neglected, but recent work continues to highlight a potential contribution to RA pathophysiology. Recent Findings: We emphasise the importance of disease stage when examining IFN-I in RA and provide an overview on how IFN-I may have a direct role on a variety of relevant cellular functions. We explore how clinical trajectory may be influenced by increased IFN-I signalling, and also, the limitations of scores composed of interferon response genes. Relevant environmental triggers and inheritable RA genetic risk relating to IFN-I signalling are explored with emphasis on intriguing data potentially linking IFN-I exposure, epigenetic changes, and disease relevant processes. Summary: Whilst these data cumulatively illustrate a likely role for IFN-I in RA, they also highlight the knowledge gaps, particularly in populations at risk for RA, and suggest directions for future research to both better understand IFN-I biology and inform targeted therapeutic strategies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lin CMA, Isaacs JD, Cooles FAH

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Current Rheumatology Reports

Year: 2023

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 05/12/2023

Acceptance date: 07/11/2023

ISSN (print): 1523-3774

ISSN (electronic): 1534-6307

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s11926-023-01125-6