TNFa Drugs Disrupt Dendritic Cell Networks

Byron's Comments:

While this study is promoting the virtues of TNFa drugs for the treatment of arthritis it should not go unnoticed that these drugs would also severely handicap the immune response required for a viral invader that has not been seen before, such as the swine flu.

Study Title:

Cutting edge: anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy in rheumatoid arthritis inhibits memory B lymphocytes via effects on lymphoid germinal centers and follicular dendritic cell networks.

Study Abstract:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is mediated by a proinflammatory cytokine network with TNF at its apex. Accordingly, drugs that block TNF have demonstrated significant efficacy in the treatment of RA. A great deal of experimental evidence also strongly implicates B cells in the pathogenesis of RA. Yet, it remains unclear whether these two important players and the therapies that target them are mechanistically linked. In this study we demonstrate that RA patients on anti-TNF (etanercept) display a paucity of follicular dendritic cell networks and germinal center (GC) structures accompanied by a reduction in CD38+ GC B cells and peripheral blood memory B cell lymphopenia compared with healthy controls and RA patients on methotrexate. This study provides initial evidence in humans to support the notion that anti-TNF treatment disrupts GC reactions at least in part via effects on follicular dendritic cells.

Study Information:

Anolik JH, Ravikumar R, Barnard J, Owen T, Almudevar A, Milner EC, Miller CH, Dutcher PO, Hadley JA, Sanz I. Cutting edge: anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy in rheumatoid arthritis inhibits memory B lymphocytes via effects on lymphoid germinal centers and follicular dendritic cell networks. J Immunol.  2008 January  ;180(2):688-92.
Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, University of Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

Full Study:

http://www.jimmunol.org/cgi/content/full/180/2/688




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