IntroductionCirculating CD4 T cells expressing CXCR5, ICOS and/or PD-1 are counterparts of follicular helper T cells (Tfh). There are three subpopulations of circulating Tfh (cTfh): CXCR5 + CXCR3 + CCR6- (Tfh-Th1), CXCR5 + CXCR3-CCR6- (Tfh-Th2) and CXCR5 + CXCR3-CCR6+ (Tfh-Th17). Our objective was to study the B cell helping capacity of cTfh subsets, and examine their frequency in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients, together with the frequency of circulating plasmablasts (CD19 + CD20-CD38high).MethodsPeripheral blood was drawn from RA patients with active disease (RA-a, DAS28 >2.6) (n = 17), RA in remission (RA-r, DAS28 <2.6) (n = 17) and healthy controls (HC) (n = 34). cTfh and plasmablast frequencies were determined by flow cytometry. Cocultures of sorted CD4 + CXCR5+ T cell subpopulations were established with autologous CD19 + CD27- naïve B cells of HC, and concentrations of IgG, A and M were measured in supernatants.ResultsIsolated Tfh-Th2 and Tfh-Th17 but not Tfh-Th1 cells, induced naïve B cells to secrete IgG and IgA. The frequency of CXCR5+ cells gated for CD4+ T cells was not different among HC, RA-a and RA-r. In contrast, both RA-a and RA-r patients demonstrated an increased frequency of CD4 + CXCR5 + ICOS+ T cells and augmented (%Tfh-Th2 + %Tfh-Th17)/%Tfh-Th1 ratio as compared with HC. In addition, RA-a but not RA-r patients, showed an increased frequency of circulating plasmablasts.ConclusionBoth RA-a and RA-r patients demonstrate an increased frequency of cTfh and overrepresentation of cTfh subsets bearing a B cell helper phenotype, suggesting that altered germinal center dynamics play a role in RA pathogenesis. In contrast, only RA-a patients show an increased proportion of circulating plasmablasts.
Anti-IFX antibodies of Remicade-treated patients cross-react with either Inflectra or Remsima. Although additional epitopes may be present in the biosimilar, results suggest that epitopes influencing the immune response to IFX are also present in the biosimilar. Antibody-positive patients treated with Remicade should not be switched to the biosimilar, since antibodies will interact with the new drug and potentially lead to loss of response. This finding supports the utility for therapeutic drug monitoring before a switching strategy is considered.
IntroductionAnti-TNF drugs have proven to be effective against spondyloarthritis (SpA), although 30% of patients fail to respond or experience adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation. In rheumatoid arthritis, the presence of anti-drug antibodies (ADA) against the first TNF inhibitor influences the outcome after switching. Our aim was to assess whether the response to a second anti-TNF drug is related to the previous development of ADA to the first anti-TNF drug SpA patients.MethodsForty-two SpA patients began a second anti-TNF drug after failing to respond to the first anti-TNF therapy. Clinical activity was assessed by the Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS) at baseline (at the beginning of the first and second anti-TNF therapy) and at 6 months after switching. The drug and ADA levels were measured by ELISA before each administration.ResultsAll patients were treated with anti-TNF drugs and mainly due to inefficacy were switched to a second anti-TNF drug. Eleven of 42 (26.2%) developed ADA during the first biologic treatment. At baseline, no differences in ASDAS were found in patients with or without ADA to the first anti-TNF drug (3.52 ± 1.03 without ADA vs. 3.14 ± 0.95 with ADA, p = 0.399) and to the second anti-TNF drug (3.36 ± 0.94 without ADA vs. 3.09 ± 0.91 with ADA, p = 0.466). At 6 months after switching, patients with previous ADA had lower disease activity (1.62 ± 0.93 with ADA vs. 2.79 ± 1.01 without ADA, p = 0.002) and most patients without ADA had high disease activity state by the ASDAS (25 out of 31 (80.6%) without ADA vs. 3 out of 11 (27.3%) with ADA, p = 0.002).ConclusionsIn SpA the failure to respond to the first anti-TNF drug due to the presence of ADA predicts a better clinical response to a second anti-TNF drug.
The TCZ standard regimen results in a wide variety of serum TCZ trough concentrations; this is mostly due to target binding and to a lesser extent to immunogenicity. The majority of patients obtained TCZ concentrations > 1 mg/L, which is sufficient for CRP normalization. Therefore, dose taper strategies might be possible in a substantial proportion of patients.
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