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The Effect of Triptolide in Rheumatoid Arthritis: From Basic Research towards Clinical Translation

Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
Law Sau Fai Institute for Advancing Translational Medicine in Bone and Joint Diseases, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
School of Life Sciences and Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
School of Basic Medical Sciences, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 376;
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research of Pathogenesis and Novel Therapeutics in Arthritis)
PDF [3594 KB, uploaded 26 January 2018]


Triptolide (TP), a major extract of the herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TWHF), has been shown to exert potent pharmacological effects, especially an immunosuppressive effect in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, its multiorgan toxicity prevents it from being widely used in clinical practice. Recently, several attempts are being performed to reduce TP toxicity. In this review, recent progress in the use of TP for RA, including its pharmacological effects and toxicity, is summarized. Meanwhile, strategies relying on chemical structural modifications, innovative delivery systems, and drug combinations to alleviate the disadvantages of TP are also reviewed. Furthermore, we also discuss the challenges and perspectives in their clinical translation. View Full-Text
Keywords: triptolide; rheumatoid arthritis; basic research; clinical translation triptolide; rheumatoid arthritis; basic research; clinical translation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Fan, D.; Guo, Q.; Shen, J.; Zheng, K.; Lu, C.; Zhang, G.; Lu, A.; He, X. The Effect of Triptolide in Rheumatoid Arthritis: From Basic Research towards Clinical Translation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 376.

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