Notch pathway is highly conserved across species and is involved in the regulation of cell differentiation and activity both in embryonic development and adult life. Notch signaling has an important role in the development of hematopoietic stem cells and their differentiation to committed lineages, as well as in the regulation of several non-hematopoietic cell lines.
As Notch signaling has been implicated in various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, it is of interest to elucidate what role do Notch receptors and ligands have in inflammatory arthritides.
We performed a search on the role of Notch receptors [1-4] and Notch ligands Delta-like (DLL) 1, 3, 4 and Jagged (Jag) 1 and 2 in animal models of inflammatory arthritis and most common types of human inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis). The initial search identified 135 unique articles, of which 24 were ultimately deemed relevant and included in this systematic review.
Overall, identified articles describe roles for Notch ligands and receptors in inflammatory arthritis, with Notch activation resulting in enhanced Th1/17 polarization, osteoclast differentiation, macrophage activation and fibroblast-like synoviocyte proliferation. However, the inhibitory role of Notch signaling, especially by Jag1 is also described.
There is evidence that Notch pathway activation affects multiple cell lineages present within the arthritic environment, therefore potentially acting as one of the drivers of disease pathogenesis. Since cell lineage-selective transgenic mouse models and specific Notch receptor inhibitors are becoming increasingly available, it can be expected that future research will evaluate whether Notch signaling components drive crucial pathogenic impulses and, therefore, present viable therapeutic targets in inflammatory arthritis.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.