Regulation of cytokines, cytokine inhibitors, and acute-phase proteins following anti-TNF-alpha therapy in rheumatoid arthritis.
Charles P., Elliott MJ., Davis D., Potter A., Kalden JR., Antoni C., Breedveld FC., Smolen JS., Eberl G., deWoody K., Feldmann M., Maini RN.
Treatment with a chimeric mAb to TNF-alpha has been shown to suppress inflammation and improve patient well-being in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the mechanisms of action of such treatment have not been fully explored. Here we show that in vivo administration of anti-TNF-alpha Ab, using a longitudinal analysis, results in the rapid down-regulation of a spectrum of cytokines, cytokine inhibitors, and acute-phase proteins. Marked diurnal variation in the serum levels of some of these were detected. These results were consistent with the concept of a cytokine-dependent cytokine cascade, and the degree of clinical benefit noted after anti-TNF-alpha therapy is probably due to the reduction in many proinflammatory mediators apart from TNF-alpha, such as IL-6, which reached normal levels within 24 h. Serum levels of cytokine inhibitors such as soluble p75 and p55 TNFR were reduced as was IL-1 receptor antagonist. Reductions in acute-phase proteins occurred after serum IL-6 fell and included serum amyloid A, haptoglobin, and fibrinogen. The latter reduction could be of importance, as it is a risk factor for atherosclerosis, which is augmented in RA patients.