Distinct effects of anti-tumor necrosis factor combined therapy on TH1/TH2 balance in rheumatoid arthritis patients

S. Herman, N. Zurgil, S. Machlav, A. Shinberg, P. Langevitz, M. Ehrenfeld, M. Deutsch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The immune balance in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a disease characterized by TH1 dominance, treated by the preferred combined anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) and methotrexate (MTX) therapy was evaluated by assessing the chemokine and cytokine receptors as well as apoptosis induction. A meta-analysis of combined therapy by TNF blockers and MTX in 15 RA patients, MTX monotherapy in 20 RA patients, and 11 diagnosed but untreated RA patients was performed by assessing several immune markers in the whole lymphocyte population, as well as in specific CD4 cells, by both flow cytometry and image analysis. A significant downregulation of CXCR3 and IL-12 receptors (both TH1 markers) and a significant increase in the chemokine receptor CCR4 and, to a lesser extent, IL-4R (both TH2 markers) were found; a particularly marked increase was found in patients treated by combined therapy. This phenomenon was pronounced in CD4 cells and was accompanied by a high proportion of apoptotic cells. The therapeutic effect of MTX and TNF blockers may be due to apoptosis induction in lymphocytes infiltrating from the inflammation site and restoring the TH1/TH2 balance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1082
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

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