The role of type I interferons and other cytokines in dermatomyositis

Ashish Arshanapalli, Mihir Shah, Vindhya Veerula, Ally Khan Somani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Much work has been done to unveil the mechanisms behind the pathogenesis of dermatomyositis (DM) - mainly those involving certain pathogenic cytokines, termed "pathokines" as the principal cytokines involved. Recently, it has become clear that a group of cytokines known as type I interferons (IFN-Is) play a significant role in the development of DM. We review the literature published between 1946 and 2014 using an Ovid Medline database search to provide an update on the role of IFN-Is and other cytokines in the pathogenesis of DM. We provide information about the genes and proteins induced by IFN-Is and potential mechanisms by which these downstream products relate to clinical disease activity. We also explore findings of other autoimmune phenomena that may contribute to disease onset and activity including T-helper 17 (Th17) cells and associated interleukins, as well as autoantibodies. Finally, we provide a brief update on current treatment options for DM as well as some new immunomodulatory treatment modalities in development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-325
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Cytokines
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Inflammatory myopathy
  • Pathogenesis
  • Type I interferons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Hematology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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