The Clinical Value of Autoantibodies in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a highly heterogeneous syndrome in terms of clinical presentation, progression, and response to therapy. In such a complicated context, the identification of disease-related biomarkers would be undoubtedly helpful in assisting tailored approaches for every patient. Despite remarkable efforts, however, progress in new biomarker development and validation is dramatically slow. At present, none of the candidate genetic, cellular, or molecular biomarker has yet surpassed the clinical value of RA-specific autoantibodies, including rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-citrullinated protein autoantibodies (ACPA). Rather, recent years have witnessed significant advancements in our understanding of the multiple roles that RF and ACPA play in RA pathophysiology. This has helped clarifying the mechanistic basis of the clinical associations of autoantibodies in RA. In this short review, we will briefly summarize the effector functions of RF and ACPA, and analyse how autoantibodies may help subclassifying RA patients in terms of clinical presentation and response to therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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