Autoantibody production in patients treated with anti-TNF-α

Fabiola Atzeni, Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease or spondyloarthritis who are treated with selective TNF-α inhibitors may develop autoantibodies, such as antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) and anti-dsDNA antibodies. Various methods have shown that infliximab led to ANAs in 29-76.7% and anti-dsDNA antibodies in 10-29% of rheumatoid arthritis patients participating in clinical trials. Furthermore, ANAs and anti-dsDNA antibodies have appeared in 11-36 and 5-15% of rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with etanercept and 12.9% and 5.3% of those treated with adalimumab, respectively. Antiphospholipid antibodies, which are mainly detected by means of anticardiolipin assays, have also been found in rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving TNF-α blockers. There have been a number of reports of the development of antidrug antibodies, of which those against infliximab lead to infusion reactions and shorter responses to treatment. This has led some authors to conclude that it is necessary to add methotrexate to infliximab in order to reduce the risk of the appearance of anti-idiotype autoantibodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
JournalExpert Review of Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • Anti-dsDNA antibody
  • Antinuclear antibody
  • Antiphospholipid antibody
  • Autoantibody
  • TNF-α agent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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