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We have previously shown that anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) monoclonal antibody (mAb) ameliorates established collagen-induced arthritis and that the efficacy of this form of treatment can be enhanced by concurrent anti-CD4 treatment. Here we assess the efficacy of a human p55 TNF receptor-IgG fusion protein (p55-sf2), given alone or with anti-CD4 mAb. TNF receptor-IgG fusion protein (100 micrograms) suppressed paw swelling and limb recruitment in established arthritis and reduced the incidence of erosions in the proximal interphalangeal joints from 92% to 50%, which was comparable to 41% erosions using anti-TNF mAb. Methylprednisolone acetate (4.2 mg/kg/week) reduced clinical signs of inflammation in a manner comparable to TNF blockade but had little effect on the incidence of erosions. Co-administration of anti-CD4 and TNF receptor-IgG led to an even greater therapeutic effect than TNF receptor-IgG alone, with the incidence of erosions being reduced from 100% to 17%. Serological analyses showed that the beneficial effects of anti-CD4 and TNF receptor-IgG could be partly explained by the ability of anti-CD4 to prevent a neutralizing antibody response. These results confirm the importance of TNF in destructive inflammatory arthritis and demonstrate the feasibility of therapeutically targeting TNF with a form of TNF receptor. Finally, the findings confirm the beneficial effects of TNF-targeted therapy coupled with anti-CD4 therapy.


Journal article



Publication Date





433 - 439


Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antibody Formation, Antigens, CD, Arthritis, CD4 Antigens, Collagen, Forelimb, Immunoglobulin G, Immunoglobulin M, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred DBA, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I, Recombinant Fusion Proteins