Author(s): Newton SM, Mackie SL, Martineau AR, Wilkinson KA, Kampmann B,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The use of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents as a treatment for chronic inflammatory conditions has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of developing tuberculosis. We studied the effect of the anti-TNF antibody infliximab on antimycobacterial immunity in 26 patients with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis by use of an in vitro whole-blood model employing a reporter mycobacterium. Blood samples taken before and 30 min and 7 days after a 2-hour infliximab infusion were compared in terms of their abilities both to suppress luminescence of Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin lux and to secrete chemokines and cytokines 24 and 96 h after infection. No immediate effect of infliximab on mycobacterial luminescence was detected using this bioassay, irrespective of whether patients were receiving their first (n = 14) or maintenance (n = 12) doses of infliximab. Moreover, no effect on mycobacterial luminescence was detected when blood was taken 7 days after infliximab treatment (n = 7). By contrast, there was a significant reduction in the chemokines implicated in cellular trafficking, namely, interleukin-8, macrophage-inhibitory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha), MIP-1beta (24 h and 96 h), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) (24 h) following BCG lux strain infection in the 30-minute post-infliximab-infusion blood samples (P < 0.05). This effect was sustained by MIP-1beta and MCP-1 (24 h; P < 0.05) at 7 days after infusion. Our results suggest that the development of tuberculosis in infliximab-treated patients is not directly related to the mycobactericidal effects of TNF but may be due to inhibition of TNF-dependent chemokine gradients disrupting cellular migration necessary to maintain the integrity of the granuloma.
This article was published in Clin Vaccine Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports