Biomolecular features of inflammation in obese rheumatoid arthritis patients: management considerations

Barbara Tolusso, Stefano Alivernini, Maria Rita Gigante, Gianfranco Ferraccioli, Elisa Gremese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Adipose tissue is an active organ playing a role not only in metabolism but also in immune and inflammatory processes, releasing several pro-inflammatory mediators. This can explain the possible association between obesity and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and its role in the progression of the disease. Adipose and synovial tissues share common histological features of local inflammation in terms of activation of target tissues infiltrating cells (i.e. myeloid cells). Among the so-called adipocytokines, PEDF and Chemerin orchestrate the cellular cross-talk between adipose and myeloid cells, being possible biomarkers to monitor the effect of weight loss or the decrease of adipose tissue in patients with RA. Moreover, dietary intervention has been demonstrated to reduce Chemerin as well as IL-6 and MCP-1 expression. Finally, epigenetic regulators such as micro-RNAs (i.e. miR-155) are key regulators of myeloid cells activation in RA and obesity as well as in adipocytes. In this review, we will summarize the biological link between obesity/overweight state and RA focusing on pathophysiological mechanisms, consequences and management considerations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Review of Clinical Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • adipocytokines
  • adipose tissue
  • inflammation
  • myeloid cells
  • treatment response
  • weight loss


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