Passive blockade of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) has demonstrated high therapeutic efficiency in chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, although some concerns remain such as occurrence of resistance and high cost. These limitations prompted investigations of an alternative strategy to target TNF-α. This study sought to demonstrate a long-lasting therapeutic effect on established arthritis of an active immunotherapy to human (h) TNF-α and to evaluate the long-term consequences of an endogenous anti-TNF-α response.
hTNF-α transgenic mice, which spontaneously develop arthritides from 8 weeks of age, were immunized with a heterocomplex (TNF kinoid, or TNF-K) composed of hTNF-α and keyhole limpet hemocyanin after disease onset. We evaluated arthritides by clinical and histological assessment, and titers of neutralizing anti-hTNF-α antibody by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and L929 assay.
Arthritides were dramatically improved compared to control mice at week 27. TNF-K-treated mice exhibited high levels of neutralizing anti-hTNF-α antibodies. Between weeks 27 and 45, all immunized mice exhibited symptoms of clinical deterioration and a parallel decrease in anti-hTNF-α neutralizing antibodies. A maintenance dose of TNF-K reversed the clinical deterioration and increased the anti-hTNF-α antibody titer. At 45 weeks, TNF-K long-term efficacy was confirmed by low clinical and mild histological scores for the TNF-K-treated mice. Injections of unmodified hTNF-α did not induce a recall response to hTNF-α in TNF-K immunized mice.
Anti-TNF-α immunotherapy with TNF-K has a sustained but reversible therapeutic efficacy in an established disease model, supporting the potential suitability of this approach in treating human disease.
The impact of diacerein, an effective cartilage targeted therapy that is used in patients with osteoarthritis, on the development and progression of chronic inflammatory arthritis was evaluated in a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) transgenic mouse model (Tg197). The response to diacerein at 2, 20, or 60 mg/kg daily, as well as the comparative effects of other antiarthritis drugs including dexamethasone (0.5 mg/kg daily), methotrexate (1 mg/kg three times weekly) and an anti-TNF agent (5 mg/kg weekly), were assessed in the Tg197 mice. Treatment was initiated before the onset of arthritis and was continued for 5 weeks. A significant improvement in clinical symptoms was found in all three diacerein treated groups in comparison with untreated groups. Confirming these data, semiquantitative histopathologic analysis of the hind paws revealed a significant reduction not only in cartilage destruction but also in the extent of synovitis and bone erosion in diacerein treated groups in comparison with untreated groups. At the most effective dose tested (2 mg/kg daily), diacerein inhibited the onset of arthritis in 28% and attenuated the progression of arthritis in 35% of the Tg197 mice. Comparative analyses showed diacerein to be more potent than methotrexate but not as effective as dexamethasone or anti-TNF agents in suppressing the progression of the TNF mediated arthritis in this model. These results indicate that diacerein has a disease modifying effect on the onset and progression of TNF driven chronic inflammatory arthritis, suggesting that the prophylactic or therapeutic potential of diacerein in patients with RA should be further examined.
arthritis; diacerein; inflammation; transgenic; tumor necrosis factor
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) blockade is an effective treatment for patients with TNF-α-dependent chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and psoriasis. TNF-α kinoid, a heterocomplex of human TNF-α and keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) (TNF-K), is an active immunotherapy targeting TNF-α. Since the TNF-K approach is an active immunization, and patients receiving this therapy also receive immunosuppressant treatment, we evaluated the effect of some immunosuppressive drugs on the generation of anti-TNF-α antibodies produced during TNF-K treatment. BALB/c mice were injected intramuscularly with TNF-K in ISA 51 adjuvant. Mice were also injected intraperitoneally with one of the following: phosphate-buffered saline, cyclophosphamide, methylprednisolone, or methotrexate. Anti-TNF-α and anti-KLH antibody levels were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the anti-TNF-α neutralizing capacity of sera by L929 bioassay. Our results showed that current treatments used in rheumatoid arthritis, such as methylprednisolone and methotrexate, do not significantly alter anti-TNF-α antibody production after TNF-K immunization. In contrast, the administration of cyclophosphamide (200 mg/kg) after immunization significantly reduced anti-TNF-α antibody titers and their neutralizing capacity.
Anti-CD20 B cell depletion therapy (BCDT) is very effective for some patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), however the pathogenic role of B lymphocytes in RA and the primary targets of BCDT are unknown. The human TNF transgenic (hTNF-tg) mouse model of RA displays a chronic-progressive disease that spreads from distal to proximal joints, and is generally considered to be adaptive immune system-independent. We have previously reported that knee arthritis in hTNF-tg mice is accompanied by structural and functional changes of the adjoining popliteal lymph node (PLN), detectable by contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (CE-MRI). To better understand these changes, here we show that onset of knee synovitis and focal erosions are paralleled by PLN contraction and accumulation of large numbers of B cells in the lymphatic sinus spaces within the node. Flow cytometry from 2, 4-5, and 8-12 month old TNF-tg mice demonstrated that B cell accumulation in the PLN follows ankle arthritis, but commences before knee disease, and involves early expansion of CD21hi, CD23+, IgMhi, CD1d+, activation marker-negative, polyclonal B cells which are found to be specifically restricted to lymph nodes draining inflamed, arthritic joints. The same B cell population also accumulates in PLNs of K/BxN mice with autoantigen-dependent arthritis. Strikingly, we show that BCDT ameliorates hTNF-tg disease and clears follicular and CD21hi, CD23+ B cells from the PLNs. Based on these findings, we propose a model whereby B cells contribute to arthritis in mice, and possibly RA, by directly affecting the structure, composition and function of joint-draining lymph nodes.
B-cells; Inflammation; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Lymph nodes; B cell depletion therapy
To test whether inhibition of sclerostin by a targeted monoclonal antibody (Scl-Ab) protects from bone and cartilage damage in inflammatory arthritis. Sclerostin is a potent inhibitor of bone formation and may be responsible for the low level of bone repair in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Human tumour necrosis factor transgenic mice (hTNFtg mice) developing inflammatory arthritis and local and bone loss were administered either vehicle, anti-TNF antibody, Scl-Ab, or a combination of both agents. Inflammation, systemic and periarticular bone loss, bone erosion and cartilage damage were evaluated at baseline (week 8) and after 3 weeks of treatment by clinical assessment, micro-CT and histology.
Scl-Ab did not affect joint swelling or synovitis. Systemic bone loss in the spine and periarticular bone loss in the proximal tibia were completely blocked and partially reversed by inhibition of sclerostin but not by inhibition of TNF. Moreover, Scl-Ab completely arrested the progression of bone erosion in hTNFtg mice and in combination with TNF inhibition even led to significant regression of cortical bone erosions. Protective effects of Scl-Ab were also observed for the articular cartilage.
These data suggest that sclerostin inhibition is a powerful tool to enhance bone repair in inflammatory arthritis.
Anti-TNF; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Inflammation; Bone Mineral Density
We found that Borrelia burgdorferi-vaccinated gamma interferon-deficient (IFN-γ0) mice challenged with B. burgdorferi developed prominent chronic destructive osteoarthropathy. When these mice were treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) antibody, the severity of the destructive osteoarthritis was enhanced and affected the mobility of the animals. In addition, extensive swelling of the hind paws occurred. In contrast, treatment of B. burgdorferi-vaccinated, challenged IFN-γ0 mice with recombinant TNF-α (rTNF-α) inhibited the development of arthritis, including swelling of the hind paws. Moreover, treatment of vaccinated, challenged IFN-γ0 mice with anti-TNF-α inhibited fourfold the production of an antibody that kills B. burgdorferi, while treatment of vaccinated, challenged IFN-γ0 mice with rTNF-α slightly elevated the level of the borreliacidal antibody. These results suggest that the level of TNF-α directly or indirectly regulates the production of borreliacidal antibody and the development of vaccine-induced destructive Lyme osteoarthritis. Studies are in progress to determine the mechanism by which TNF-α-dependent cytokines generate the destructive arthritis.
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is a major inflammatory mediator that exhibits actions leading to tissue destruction and hampering recovery from damage. At present, two antibodies against human TNF-α (hTNF-α) are available, which are widely used for the clinic treatment of certain inflammatory diseases. This work was undertaken to identify a novel functional epitope of hTNF-α. We performed screening peptide library against anti-hTNF-α antibodies, ELISA and competitive ELISA to obtain the epitope of hTNF-α. The key residues of the epitope were identified by means of combinatorial alanine scanning and site-specific mutagenesis. The N terminus (80–91 aa) of hTNF-α proved to be a novel epitope (YG1). The two amino acids of YG1, proline and valine, were identified as the key residues, which were important for hTNF-α biological function. Furthermore, the function of the epitope was addressed on an animal model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). CIA could be suppressed in an animal model by prevaccination with the derivative peptides of YG1. The antibodies of YG1 could also inhibit the cytotoxicity of hTNF-α. These results demonstrate that YG1 is a novel epitope associated with the biological function of hTNF-α and the antibodies against YG1 can inhibit the development of CIA in animal model, so it would be a potential target of new therapeutic antibodies.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha is a cytokine that has potent immune regulatory functions. To assess the potential role of this cytokine in the early development of autoimmunity, we investigated the effect of TNF on the development of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, a spontaneous murine model for autoimmune, insulin-dependent type I diabetes. Treatment of newborn female NOD mice with TNF every other day for 3 wk, led to an earlier onset of disease (10 versus 15 wk of age in control mice) and 100% incidence before 20 wk of age (compared to 45% at 20 wk of age in control phosphate-buffered saline treated female mice). In contrast, administration of an anti-TNF monoclonal antibody, TN3.19.12, resulted in complete prevention of IDDM. In vitro proliferation assays demonstrated that mice treated with TNF developed an increased T cell response to a panel of beta cell autoantigens, whereas anti-TNF treatment resulted in unresponsiveness to the autoantigens. In addition, autoantibody responses to the panel of beta cell antigens paralleled the T cell responses. The effects mediated by TNF appear to be highly age dependent. Treatment of animals either from birth or from 2 wk of age had a similar effect. However, if treatment was initiated at 4 wk of age, TNF delayed disease onset. These data suggest that TNF has a critical role in the early development of autoimmunity towards beta-islet cells.
Objectives: To investigate the biodistribution and specific targeting for tumour necrosis factor (TNF) of a fully human, radiolabelled anti-TNF monoclonal antibody (anti-TNF mAb) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). To assess whether this agent is suitable for visualisation of synovitis.
Methods: Ten patients with RA underwent whole body scintigraphy after administration of a tracer—subtherapeutic dose of 100 µg 99mTc human anti-TNF mAb. After two weeks, the procedure was repeated to assess the specificity of the radiolabelled antibody for TNF and its sensitivity for changes in inflammation. Therefore, a competition study was performed in five patients, who received excess unlabelled anti-TNF mAb before the tracer dose of 99mTc-anti-TNF. Another five patients received 120 mg methylprednisolone two days before the second scintigraphy.
Results: Radiolabelled anti-TNF mAb allowed clear visualisation of inflamed joints in patients with active RA with a high specificity. Concomitant administration of excess unlabelled anti-TNF reduced the joint uptake of 99mTc-anti-TNF mAb by a median of 25% as a percentage of the injected dose after 24 hours, whereas uptake in liver and spleen remained unchanged. Systemic corticosteroids reduced the disease activity, which was mirrored by a decreased joint uptake of the tracer. The anti-TNF mAb retained its high affinity for TNFα after labelling and was cleared from the circulation with an elimination half life of 48 hours. The procedure was well tolerated.
Conclusions: Radiolabelled human anti-TNF mAb allows visualisation of synovitis in patients with RA. Joint accumulation of this agent is partly due to specific TNF targeting and is highly predictive for inflammation.
IL-17 is implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and has previously been shown to be induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in vitro. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of TNF inhibition on IL-17 production in collagen-induced arthritis, a model of RA. TNF blockade using TNFR-Fc fusion protein or anti-TNF monoclonal antibody reduced arthritis severity but, unexpectedly, expanded populations of Th1 and Th17 cells, which were shown by adoptive transfer to be pathogenic. Th1 and Th17 cell populations were also expanded in collagen-immunized TNFR p55−/− but not p75−/− mice. The expression of IL-12/IL-23 p40 was up-regulated in lymph nodes (LN) from p55−/− mice, and the expansion of Th1/Th17 cells was abrogated by blockade of p40. Treatment of macrophages with rTNF also inhibited p40 production in vitro. These findings indicate that at least one of the ways in which TNF regulates Th1/Th17 responses in arthritis is by down-regulating the expression of p40. Finally, although TNF blockade increased numbers of Th1 and Th17 cells in LN, it inhibited their accumulation in the joint, thereby providing an explanation for the paradox that anti-TNF therapy ameliorates arthritis despite increasing numbers of pathogenic T cells.
To study the effects of IL-1α in arthritis, we generated human IL-1α (hIL-1α). Transgenic mice expressed hIL-1α mRNA in various organs, had high serum levels of hIL-1α, and developed a severe polyarthritic phenotype at 4 weeks of age. Not only bone marrow cells but also synoviocytes from knee joints produced biologically active hIL-1α. Synovitis started 2 weeks after birth, and 8-week-old mice showed hyperplasia of the synovial lining layer, the formation of hyperplastic synovium (pannus) and, ultimately, destruction of cartilage. Hyperplasia of the synovial lining was due to the accumulation of macrophage-like cells expressing F4/80 molecules. hIL-1α was widely distributed in macrophage- and fibroblast-like cells of the synovial lining cells, as well as synovial fluid monocytes. T and B cells were rare in the synovial fluid, and analysis of marker expression suggests that synoviocytes were directly histolytic and did not act as antigen-presenting cells. In the joints of these mice, we found elevated levels of cells of the monocyte/macrophage and granulocyte lineages and of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs), most of which expressed Gr-1, indicating that they were mature, tissue-degrading PMNs. Cultured synoviocytes and PMNs from these animals overexpress GM-CSF, suggesting that the hematopoietic changes induced by IL-1 and the consequent PMN activation and joint destruction are mediated by this cytokine.
Elucidation of the cellular immunopathology and cytokine profile of psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a chronic inflammatory disease associated with psoriasis, has resulted in the development of a number of novel biologic therapies. Among these biologics, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) inhibitors have been used successfully to treat patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis. The pivotal role of TNF-α in the pathogenesis and progression of PsA suggested that anti-TNF-α agents could be effective in controlling PsA. The results from two large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in patients with moderate to severe PsA indicated that the anti-TNF-inhibitor, infliximab, can control both the joint and skin manifestations of the disease. This review focuses on the clinical development of infliximab as a treatment for PsA. The development of other anti-TNF-α biologics is also discussed.
psoriatic arthritis; psoriasis; spondyloarthropathies; TNF inhibition; biologics
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is an inflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in a variety of rheumatic and inflammatory diseases. New understanding of the importance of TNF-α in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease led to the development of a new class of targeted anti-TNF therapies. Anti-TNF-α agents including etanercept (a fusion protein of the p75 TNF receptor and IgG1) and infliximab (a chimeric monoclonal antibody specific for TNF-α) have been approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, infliximab has been approved in the treatment of patients with active or fistulating Crohn's disease. A new appreciation of the importance of TNF-α in other rheumatic and inflammatory diseases has led to a broadening of the application of anti-TNF agents. Both etanercept and infliximab have been used in open-label and randomized studies in patients with psoriatic arthritis. Although larger randomized trials are needed to confirm early results, both these anti-TNF-α agents, etanercept and infliximab, have demonstrated activity in improving the signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. Infliximab has also been shown to be effective in patients with other rheumatic diseases, including ankylosing spondylitis, and may be effective in adult-onset Still's disease, polymyositis, and Behçet's disease. Further investigations will fully elucidate the role of infliximab in these and other rheumatic diseases.
anti-tumor necrosis factor; cytokine; infliximab; rheumatic disease; tumor necrosis factor
Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin 1 (IL1) are considered as master cytokines in chronic, destructive arthritis. Therapeutic approaches in rheumatic arthritis (RA) patients so far mainly focused on TNF. Although TNF is a major inflammatory mediator in RA and a potent inducer of IL1, anti-TNF treatment is not effective in all patients, nor does it fully control the arthritic process in affected joints of good responders. Analysis of cytokine patterns in early synovial biopsy specimens of RA patients reveals prominent TNF staining in 50% of the patients, whereas IL1b staining was evident in 100%. This argues that TNF independent IL1 production occurs in some of the patients. Studies in a range of experimental arthritis models in mice make it clear that TNF is involved in early joint swelling. However, TNF alone is not arthritogenic nor destructive and exerts its arthritogenic potential through IL1 induction. Intriguingly, TNF independent IL1 production is found in many models. Its relevance is further underlined by the greater efficacy of anti-IL1 treatment as compared with anti-TNF treatment and the total lack of chronic, erosive arthritis in IL1b deficient mice. IL1b is not necessarily involved in early joint swelling, but is a crucial mediator in chronic arthritis and cartilage erosion in all models studied so far. This makes ILb an attractive target in chronic, destructive arthritis.
To date, anti-tumor necrosis factor alfa (anti-TNF-α) therapy is the only alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. Etanercept is a soluble TNF receptor, with a mode of action and pharmacokinetics different to those of antibodies and distinctive efficacy and safety. Etanercept has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis, with or without radiographic sacroiliitis, and other manifestations of the disease, including peripheral arthritis, enthesitis, and psoriasis. Etanercept is not efficacious in inflammatory bowel disease, and its efficacy in the treatment of uveitis appears to be lower than that of other anti-TNF drugs. Studies of etanercept confirmed regression of bone edema on magnetic resonance imaging of the spine and sacroiliac joint, but failed to reduce radiographic progression, as do the other anti-TNF drugs. It seems that a proportion of patients remain in disease remission when the etanercept dose is reduced or administration intervals are extended. Etanercept is generally well tolerated with an acceptable safety profile in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. The most common adverse effect of etanercept treatment is injection site reactions, which are generally self-limiting. Reactivation of tuberculosis, reactivation of hepatitis B virus infection, congestive heart failure, demyelinating neurologic disorders, hematologic disorders like aplastic anemia and pancytopenia, vasculitis, immunogenicity, and exacerbation or induction of psoriasis are class effects of all the anti-TNF drugs, and have been seen in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. However, etanercept is less likely to induce reactivation of tuberculosis than the other anti-TNF drugs and it has been suggested that etanercept might be less immunogenic, especially in ankylosing spondylitis. Acute uveitis, Crohn’s disease, and sarcoidosis are other adverse events that have been rarely associated with etanercept therapy in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.
ankylosing spondylitis; etanercept; spondyloarthritis; efficacy; safety
The binding and biological activity of human TNF alpha on endothelial and tumour cells has been studied in the presence of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). In particular, one monoclonal antibody to TNF alpha (MAb 32) has been identified which failed to inhibit binding and cytotoxicity of TNF alpha on WEHI-164 tumour cells but which was a potent inhibitor of TNF alpha-induced endothelial cell procoagulant activity on bovine aortic endothelial cells. The ability of MAb 32 to inhibit selectively the actions of TNF alpha on endothelial cells but not on tumour cells suggests a mechanism for enhancement of the anti-tumour action of TNF alpha in vivo when in complex with this antibody. Treatment of tumour bearing mice (WEHI-164 and Meth A fibrosarcoma) with TNF alpha-MAb 32 complex resulted in a 5- to 10-fold enhancement in the potency of the cytokine in comparison to free TNF alpha. Complexes between this cytokine and other MAbs generally resulted in either no effect or inhibition of TNF alpha activity in vivo and in vitro. Neither intact MAb 32 nor FAb' fragments of MAb 32 showed any tumour regressive activity in the absence of TNF alpha. The FAb' fragments were equipotent to the bivalent form of the antibody in enhancing TNF alpha activity. These data provide evidence that it is possible to segregate the individual biological activities of TNF alpha with concomitant enhancement of the tumour regressive activity of the cytokine in vivo.
Investigation of the effect of lymphatic inhibition on joint and draining lymph node pathology during the course of arthritis progression in mice.
TNF transgenic (TNF-Tg) mice were used as a model of chronic inflammatory arthritis. Mice received contrast enhanced MRI to obtain ankle and knee joint synovial volumes and draining popliteal lymph node (PLN) volumes before and 8 weeks after treatment with VEGFR-3 or VEGFR-2 neutralizing antibodies, or isotype IgG. The animals were subjected to near-infrared lymphatic imaging to determine the effect of VEGFR-3 neutralization on lymph transport from paws to draining PLNs prior to sacrifice. Lymphatic vessel formation and morphology of joints and PLNs were examined by histology, immunohistochemistry, and RT-PCR.
Compared to IgG treatment, VEGFR-3 neutralizing antibody treatment significantly decreased the size of PLNs, the number of lymphatic vessels in joints and PLNs, the lymphatic drainage from paws to PLNs, and the number of VEGF-C expressing CD11b+ myeloid cells in PLNs. However, it increased the synovial volumes and inflammatory area in ankle and knee joints. VEGFR-2 neutralizing antibody, in contrast, inhibited both lymphangiogenesis and joint inflammation.
Lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic drainage are reciprocally related to the severity of joint lesions during the development of chronic arthritis. Lymphatic drainage plays a beneficial role in controlling the progression of chronic inflammation.
Lymphatic drainage; lymphangiogenesis; inflammation; lymph nodes; in vivo imagining
The introduction of biological agents targeting tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) has brought about a paradigm shift in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although these anti-TNF agents have excellent efficacy against RA, a substantial number of patients still show inadequate responses. In Western countries, such patients are already being treated with new classes of antirheumatic drugs such as abatacept and rituximab. Tocilizumab (TCZ) is a humanized monoclonal antibody developed in Japan against the human interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor. TCZ does not only alleviate the signs and symptoms of RA but also seems to prevent progressive bone and joint destruction. However, there is a concern that TCZ might increase the risk of adverse events such as infections since IL-6 plays a pivotal role in the immune system. Calculating the relative risks of specific adverse outcomes with TCZ use remains difficult, due to insufficient patient numbers enrolled in clinical trials to date. This review presents tentative guidelines for the use of TCZ for RA patients prepared by the Japan College of Rheumatology and based on results of clinical trials in Japan and Western countries. The guidelines are intended as a guide for postmarketing surveillance and clinical practice, and will be revised periodically based on the surveillance.
Rheumatoid arthritis; Tocilizumab; Anti-TNF; IL-6; Antirheumatics
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is key to the pathogenesis of various arthritic diseases and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Anti-TNF therapies have proved successful in the clinical treatment of these diseases, but a mechanistic understanding of TNF function is still lacking. We have investigated early cellular mechanisms of TNF function in these diseases using an established TNF transgenic model, which develops a spondyloarthritis-like disease characterized by peripheral joint arthritis, sacroiliitis, enthesitis, and Crohn's-like IBD. Bone marrow grafting experiments demonstrated that development of arthritis requires TNF receptor I (TNFRI) expression in the radiation-resistant compartment, which is also known to be a sufficient target of TNF in the development of Crohn's-like IBD in the same model. Early activation of synovial fibroblasts and intestinal myofibroblasts could also be demonstrated by perturbed expression of matrix metalloproteases and their inhibitors. Notably, selective Cre/loxP-mediated TNFRI expression in mesenchymal cells resulted in a fully arthritic–spondyloarthritic and intestinal phenotype, indicating that mesenchymal cells are primary and sufficient targets of TNF in these pathologies. Our results offer a novel mechanistic perspective for TNF function in gut and joint pathologies and indicate early common cellular pathways that may also explain the often observed synovial–gut axis in human disease.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is not just a proinflammatory cytokine. It has also been proposed to be an immunoregulatory molecule that can alter the balance of T regulatory cells. Anti-TNF-α therapies have been provided clinical benefit to many patients and introduced for treating moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and other chronic inflammatory disorders. However, their use also is accompanied by new or aggravated forms of autoimmunity, such as formation of autoantibodies, including antinuclear antibodies (ANAs), antidouble-stranded DNA (dsDNA) antibodies, and anticardiolipin antibodies (ACL). Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a disease with autoimmune disturbance and inflammatory damage. The role of TNF-α in human SLE is controversial. Here we review the role of TNF-α in the pathophysiological processes of SLE and the likely effects of blocking TNF-α in treatment of SLE.
While bone marrow edema (BME) detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a biomarker of arthritis, its nature remains poorly understood due to the limitations of clinical studies. In this study, MRI of murine arthritis was used to elucidate its cellular composition and vascular involvement.
BME was quantified using normalized bone marrow intensity (NBMI) from precontrast MRI and normalized marrow contrast enhancement (NMCE) following intravenous administration of gadopentate dimeglumine. Wild-type (WT) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-transgenic mice were scanned from 2 to 5 months of age, followed by histologic or fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis of marrow. In efficacy studies, TNF-transgenic mice were treated with anti-TNF or placebo for 8 weeks, and then were studied using bimonthly MRI and histologic analysis.
NBMI values were similar in WT and TNF-transgenic mice at 2 months. The values in WT mice steadily decreased thereafter, with mean values becoming significantly different from those of TNF-transgenic mice at 3.5 months (mean ± SD 0.29 ± 0.08 versus 0.46 ± 0.13; P < 0.05). Red to yellow marrow transformation occurred in WT but not TNF-transgenic mice, as observed histologically at 5 months. The marrow of TNF-transgenic mice that received anti-TNF therapy converted to yellow marrow, with lower NBMI values versus placebo at 6 weeks (mean ± SD 0.26 ± 0.07 versus 0.61 ± 0.22; P < 0.05). FACS analysis of bone marrow revealed a significant correlation between NBMI values and CD11b+ monocytes (R2 = 0.91, P = 0.0028). Thresholds for “normal” red marrow versus pathologic BME were established, and it was also found that inflammatory marrow is highly permeable to contrast agent.
BME signals in TNF-transgenic mice are caused by yellow to red marrow conversion, with increased myelopoiesis and increased marrow permeability. The factors that mediate these changes warrant further investigation.
We evaluated the therapeutic effect of secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2)-inhibitory peptide at a cellular level on joint erosion, cartilage destruction, and synovitis in the human tumor necrosis factor (TNF) transgenic mouse model of arthritis. Tg197 mice (N = 18) or wild-type (N = 10) mice at 4 weeks of age were given intraperitoneal doses (7.5 mg/kg) of a selective sPLA2 inhibitory peptide, P-NT.II, or a scrambled P-NT.II (negative control), three times a week for 4 weeks. Untreated Tg197 mice (N = 10) were included as controls. Pathogenesis was monitored weekly for 4 weeks by use of an arthritis score and histologic examinations. Histopathologic analysis revealed a significant reduction after P-NT.II treatment in synovitis, bone erosion, and cartilage destruction in particular. Conspicuous ultrastructural alterations seen in articular chondrocytes (vacuolated cytoplasm and loss of nuclei) and synoviocytes (disintegrating nuclei and vacuoles, synovial adhesions) of untreated or scrambled-P-NT.II-treated Tg197 mice were absent in the P-NT.II-treated Tg197 group. Histologic scoring and ultrastructural evidence suggest that the chondrocyte appears to be the target cell mainly protected by the peptide during arthritis progression in the TNF transgenic mouse model. This is the first time ultrastructural evaluation of this model has been presented. High levels of circulating sPLA2 detected in untreated Tg197 mice at age 8 weeks of age were reduced to basal levels by the peptide treatment. Attenuation of lipopolysaccharide- and TNF-induced release of prostaglandin E2 from cultured macrophage cells by P-NT.II suggests that the peptide may influence the prostaglandin-mediated inflammatory response in rheumatoid arthritis by limiting the bioavailability of arachidonic acid through sPLA2 inhibition.
peptide; secretory phospholipase A2 inhibition; rheumatoid arthritis; TNF transgenic mouse model; ultrastructural alterations
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has been implicated in a number of arthritic disease states, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Adalimumab is the first fully human, high-affinity, recombinant immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) anti-TNF monoclonal antibody. Adalimumab in combination with methotrexate or standard antirheumatic therapies, or as monotherapy, is effective in the treatment of adults with active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Adalimumab is also effective in the treatment of patients with moderately to severely active psoriatic arthritis, improving both joint and skin manifestations of the disease as well as disability due to joint damage. In the Adalimumab Trial Evaluating Long-term Efficacy and Safety in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ATLAS), adalimumab significantly reduced the signs and symptoms of active ankylosing spondylitis and established a sustained clinical response in patients who had an inadequate response or intolerance to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug therapy. Overall, across these indications, adalimumab demonstrated a rapid onset of action, sustained efficacy with long-term treatment, and was well-tolerated, with few patients discontinuing treatment because of adverse events. The safety profile was similar to other TNF antagonists. Inhibition of TNF activity by adalimumab also significantly improved physical functioning and quality of life measures.
Adalimumab; TNF antagonists; rheumatoid arthritis; psoriatic arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis
Cell invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi and its intracellular replication are essential for continuation of the parasite life cycle and for production of Chagas' disease. T. cruzi is able to replicate in nucleated cells and can be killed by activated macrophages. Gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) is one of the major stimuli for the activation of macrophages and has been shown to be a key activation factor for the killing of intracellular parasites through a mechanism dependent upon nitric oxide (NO) biosynthesis. We show that although the addition of exogenous tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) does not potentiate the trypanocidal activity of IFN-gamma in vitro, treatment of resistant C57BI/6 mice with an anti-TNF-alpha monoclonal antibody increased parasitemia and mortality. In addition, the anti-TNF-alpha-treated animals had decreased NO production, both in vivo and in vitro, suggesting an important role for TNF-alpha in controlling infection. In order to better understand the role of TNF-alpha in the macrophage-mediating killing of parasites, cultures of T. cruzi-infected macrophages were treated with an anti-TNF-alpha monoclonal antibody. IFN-gamma-activated macrophages failed to kill intracellular parasites following treatment with 100 micrograms of anti-TNF-alpha. In these cultures, the number of parasites released at various time points after infection was significantly increased while NO production was significantly reduced. We conclude that IFN-gamma-activated macrophages produce TNF-alpha after infection by T. cruzi and suggest that this cytokine plays a role in amplifying NO production and parasite killing.
Anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy has been associated with reports of rapid severe progression of rheumatoid arthritis-associated interstitial lung disease (RA-ILD). However, reports also exist of favourable responses to anti-TNF therapy in patients with ILD. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of anti-TNF therapy on mortality in patients with pre-existing RA-ILD.
Using data from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register, a national prospective observational study, 367 patients with pre-existing RA-ILD were identified (299 treated with anti-TNF therapy and 68 treated with traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)).
70/299 patients (23%) in the anti-TNF cohort died after a median follow-up of 3.8 years compared with 14/68 (21%) in the DMARD cohort after a median follow-up of 2.1 years. The mortality was 68 deaths/1000 person years (pyrs) (95% CI 53 to 86) in the anti-TNF cohort and 92/1000 pyrs (95% CI 50 to 155) in the DMARD cohort, generating an age- and sex-adjusted mortality rate ratio (aMRR) of 1.26 (95% CI 0.69 to 2.31). After further adjustment for potential confounders, the aMRR fell to 0.81 (95% CI 0.38 to 1.73) for the anti-TNF cohort compared with the DMARD cohort. RA-ILD was the underlying cause of death in 15/70 (21%) and 1/14 (7%) patients in the anti-TNF and DMARD cohorts, respectively.
The mortality in patients with RA-ILD is not increased following treatment with anti-TNF therapy compared with traditional DMARDs. The proportion of deaths attributable to RA-ILD is higher in patients treated with anti-TNF therapy, although reporting bias may exist.