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Abstract

Abstract

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Crohn’s Disease (CD) are both chronic inflammatory diseases that share developmental and treatment similarities. RA’s symptoms include swelling, stiffness, and pain in synovial joints, corresponding with bone and cartilage destruction. CD’s symptoms include abdominal pain, bowel obstruction, bloating, diarrhea, and fever. The purpose of this literature review was to investigate the links between these two diseases and propose future treatment and prevention targets. Current treatment for RA and CD aims to suppress inflammation by targeting its mediators. However, this review noted that there should be greater focus on resolving inflammation. Both diseases are characterized by the non-resolution of chronic inflammation due to the interplay of specific cytokines (IL-1, IL-6, TNF), which are proteins that function in cell to cell communication, and due to the dysbiosis of the oral and gut microbiome, which involves a compositional change of residing bacteria. Individuals are predisposed to both diseases via heritability and environmental factors, such as smoking. Finally, development and severity of both diseases depend on mutations in specific regulatory genes, such as STAT4 and PTPN2/22. Targeting the influx of immune cells, stimulating pro-resolving mediators such as IL-9 and 10, and restoring eubiosis are possible inflammation-resolving mechanisms. There should also be a movement towards prevention rather than disease intervention. Prevention tactics may include the promotion of oral and gut health, quitting smoking, and screening for genetic susceptibility.

Keywords: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, dysbiosis, inflammation

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Julie Torruellas Garcia

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