Adequate tissue engineered models are required to further understand the (patho)physiological mechanism involved in the destructive processes of cartilage and subchondral bone during rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Therefore, we developed a human in vitro 3D osteochondral tissue model (OTM), mimicking cytokine-induced cellular and matrix-related changes leading to cartilage degradation and bone destruction in order to ultimately provide a preclinical drug screening tool. To this end, the OTM was engineered by co-cultivation of mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-derived bone and cartilage components in a 3D environment. It was comprehensively characterized on cell, protein, and mRNA level. Stimulating the OTM with pro-inflammatory cytokines, relevant in RA (tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-6, macrophage migration inhibitory factor), caused cell- and matrix-related changes, resulting in a significantly induced gene expression of lactate dehydrogenase A, interleukin-8 and tumor necrosis factor α in both, cartilage and bone, while the matrix metalloproteases 1 and 3 were only induced in cartilage. Finally, application of target-specific drugs prevented the induction of inflammation and matrix-degradation. Thus, we here provide evidence that our human in vitro 3D OTM mimics cytokine-induced cell- and matrix-related changes-key features of RA-and may serve as a preclinical tool for the evaluation of both new targets and potential drugs in a more translational setup.