This review summarizes the major developments in animal models of arthritis in the past decade. It focuses on novel transgenic models, addresses the involvement of cytokines and discusses novel findings in cartilage and bone erosion. It is clear that interest has been raised in the direct arthritogenic role of autoantibodies, apart from T cell involvement, and their interaction with cells through Fcgamma receptors. In addition, a role for IL-6 and IL-17 and Th17 cells seems apparent in most T cell-driven arthritis models, with environmental triggering through Toll-like receptors contributing to this process. Further insights into enzymes involved in cartilage proteoglycan loss in arthritis, as well as mediators regulating bone erosion and bone apposition, have been gained.
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