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Anti-TNFα Therapy Modulates the Phenotype of Peripheral Blood CD4+ T Cells in Patients with Posterior Segment Intraocular Inflammation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John IsaacsORCiD


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PURPOSE. Posterior segment intraocular inflammation (PSII) is a putative Th1 CD4+ cell mediated autoimmune disorder. In experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis, neutralization of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α induces suppression of Th1 cells, macrophage activation, and target organ damage. Previous studies implicated an efficacy of anti-TNFα therapies in patients with PSII. This study investigated the immunomodulatory effect of anti-TNFα therapy to find predictors of effective immunosuppression in PSII. METHODS. Fifteen patients with PSII refractory to conventional immunosuppressive therapy received a single infusion of a recombinant protein generated by fusing the p55 TNFα receptor with human IgG1. During 17 treatment periods, visual acuity (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [log-MAR]) was monitored as a response criterion. Phenotype markers of CD4 + T cells were analyzed before and 2, 4, and 12 weeks after therapy. Expression of intracellular cytokines (interferon [IFN]-γ, interleukin [IL]-10, and TNFα and Th1/Th2-specific chemokine receptors (CXCR3, CCR4, and CCR5) on peripheral blood CD4+ T cells was determined using flow cytometry. RESULTS. The fraction of IL-10-expressing CD4+ T cells was increased during 12 of 17 treatment periods within 2 weeks after treatment. During eight treatment periods, this increase was associated with an improvement of visual acuity of at least 0.2 logMAR within 4 weeks (P = 0.029). The ratio between IL-10- and IFNγ-expressing CD4+ T cells was significantly increased 2 weeks after therapy (P = 0.015). There was no significant change of CXCR3, CCR4, or CCR5 expression. CONCLUSIONS. Neutralizing TNFα activity in PSII increases the fraction of peripheral blood CD4+ T cells expressing IL-10, which correlates with a recovery of visual function.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Greiner K, Murphy CC, Willermain F, Duncan L, Plskova J, Hale G, Isaacs JD, Forrester JV, Dick AD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science

Year: 2004

Volume: 45

Issue: 1

Pages: 170-176

ISSN (print): 0146-0404

ISSN (electronic): 1552-5783

Publisher: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology


DOI: 10.1167/iovs.03-0659


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