Annexin A1: potential for glucocorticoid sparing in RA

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Glucocorticoids have broad-ranging and powerful anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Unsurprisingly, therefore, glucocorticoids are widely and persistently used to treat a large number of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), despite the well-described adverse effects of these drugs. Annexin A1 is a glucocorticoid-induced molecule that is known to replicate many of the described anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids. In addition to the well-documented roles of this protein in neutrophil function, emerging evidence suggests that annexin A1 is involved in the modulation of T-cell function and the adaptive immune responses relevant to RA. Interest in annexin A1 was renewed after the delineation of the receptors for this protein. This breakthrough also led to advances in our understanding of anti-inflammatory annexin A1 mimetic peptides and agonistic compounds targeting these receptors, particularly those specific for the receptor N-formyl peptide receptor 2 (FPR2). Herein, we review the current knowledge of the biological activities of annexin A1 and their relevance to RA pathogenesis. We also discuss the potential of annexin A1 mimics and strategies aimed at potentiating annexin A1 signalling to become viable approaches to minimizing glucocorticoid use in RA and other inflammatory disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595 - 603
Number of pages9
JournalNature Reviews Rheumatology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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