Spondyloarthritis (SpA) are a heterogeneous group of inflammatory chronic diseases characterized by sharing common pathogenic, clinical and radiologic features. The aim of this review is to support clinicians in understanding and managing this complex disease, from pathogenesis to therapeutic targets, through a systematic review of the current literature in accordance with PRISMA guidelines and checklist. HLA-B27 has been found to be associated with axial involvement either in SA and in PsA patients: it might be involved through presentation of an “arthritogenic peptide” to autoreactive CD8+ T cells or might accumulate in misfolded form and induce production pro-inflammatory cytokines by binding to several innate immune receptors. This genetic background in combination with mechanical stress leads to the activation of both innate and acquired immune responses as well as a possible role of autoimmunity in SpA pathogenesis. The release of IL-23 and IL-17 is relevant for their systemic and local effect on bone, inducing the activation of osteoclasts. Thus, the regulatory role of IL-17 on fibroblasts, osteoblasts and chondrocytes has an impact in both synovial inflammation and joint destruction. Innovative therapies targeting IL-12/23 and IL-17 and the use of small targeted synthetic molecules, as JAK-inhibitors, proved to be effective in SpA patients representing an alternative strategy to TNF-inhibitors.
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