Giant cell arteritis: Pathogenic mechanisms and new potential therapeutic targets

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is the most common idiopathic systemic vasculitis in persons aged 50years or greater. Treatment options for GCA, to-date, have been limited and have consisted primarily of glucocorticoids. Significant advances in the understanding of the genetic and cellular mechanisms in GCA are leading to identification of potential pathogenic targets. The recent success of interleukin-6 blockade in the treatment of GCA has opened the landscape to targeted biologic therapy. T cells, particularly T helper 1 and T helper 17 cell lineages have been identified as key inflammatory cells in both active and chronic vascular inflammatory lesions. Therapeutic agents, including abatacept and ustekinumab, which can impede both vasculitogenic cell lines are of particular interest. Inhibition of signalling pathways, including the janus kinase-signal tranducers and activation of transcription (JAK-STAT) and Notch pathways are evolving options. Tocilizumab has shown clear benefit in both newly diagnosed and relapsing patients with GCA and approval of this medication for treatment of GCA has led to rapid incorporation into treatment regimens. More information is required to understand the long-term outcomes of tocilizumab and other investigational targeted therapeutics in the treatment of GCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalBMC Rheumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 13 2017


  • Biologics
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Pathogenesis
  • Therapeutics
  • Vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Giant cell arteritis: Pathogenic mechanisms and new potential therapeutic targets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this