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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2012, Article ID 539683, 8 pages
Review Article

The Th17/IL-23 Axis and Natural Immunity in Psoriatic Arthritis

Department of Medical Oncology and Immunology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Aichi 467-8601, Japan

Received 6 January 2012; Accepted 26 January 2012

Academic Editor: Lazaros I. Sakkas

Copyright © 2012 Shinji Maeda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that causes enthesitis and destructive arthritis and significantly lowers patient quality of life. Recognition of the two target organs (the skin and joints) involved in the immunopathophysiology of PsA helped in elucidating the pathology of various systemic autoimmune diseases targeting multiple organs. Recent advances in immunology and genetics have made it clear that acquired immunity, especially that mediated by the Th17/IL-23 axis, plays an important role in the inflammatory pathology observed in psoriasis and PsA. Additionally, involvement of natural immunity has also been suggested. Microbial infection has been known to trigger psoriasis and PsA. Recent clinical studies using biopharmaceuticals, such as tumor-necrosis-factor- (TNF-) α inhibitors and IL-12/23 p40 antibodies, indicate that studies need not be based only on the immunological phenomena observed in PsA pathology since disease pathology can now be verified using human-based science. Considering this aspect, this paper discusses the immunopathology of PsA compared to psoriasis (cutaneous) and rheumatoid arthritis in humans and immunopathology of PsA with respect to the Th17/IL-23 axis and microbial infection.