TNF-α has a central role in the development and maintenance of psoriatic plaques, and its serum levels correlate with disease activity. Anti-TNF-α drugs are, however, ineffective in a relevant percentage of patients for reasons that are currently unknown. To understand whether the response to anti-TNF-α drugs is influenced by the production of anti-drug antibodies or by the modulation of the TNFα-TNFα receptor system, and to identify changes in monocyte phenotype and activity, we analysed 119 psoriatic patients who either responded or did not respond to different anti-TNF-α therapies (adalimumab, etanercept or infliximab), and measured plasma levels of TNF-α, TNF-α soluble receptors, drug and anti-drug antibodies. Moreover, we analyzed the production of TNF-α and TNF-α soluble receptors by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and characterized different monocyte populations. We found that: i) the drug levels varied between responders and non-responders; ii) anti-infliximab antibodies were present in 15% of infliximab-treated patients, while anti-etanercept or anti-adalimumab antibodies were never detected; iii) plasma TNF-α levels were higher in patients treated with etanercept compared to patients treated with adalimumab or infliximab; iv) PBMCs from patients responding to adalimumab and etanercept produced more TNF-α and sTNFRII in vitro than patients responding to infliximab; v) PBMCs from patients not responding to infliximab produce higher levels of TNF-α and sTNFRII than patients responding to infliximab; vi) anti-TNF-α drugs significantly altered monocyte subsets. A complex remodelling of the TNFα-TNFα receptor system thus takes place in patients treated with anti-TNF-α drugs, that involves either the production of anti-drug antibodies or the modulation of monocyte phenotype or inflammatory activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)