Dr. Benoit Salomon from Sorbonne University, Paris, France, who recently showed that suppressive activity of human regulatory T cells is maintained in the presence of TNF, tells Reuters Health by email, “What is interesting to me is that it provides some very surprising mechanistic aspects to a treatment (anti-TNF) that is given to many patients. It gives an explanation for the previous observation (by the authors and others) that anti-TNF treatment leads to an increased proportion of Treg in RA patients in the blood.”
“We should reconsider the mechanism of action of monoclonal antibodies,” Dr. Salomon says. “This is probably the first description of an antibody used in the clinics that may, in the same time, have antagonist activity (blocking TNF/TNFR1) and agonist activity (for TNF/TNFR2). Is this paradoxical observation relevant for other ‘blocking’ monoclonal antibodies?”
Arthritis Research UK partially supported this research. The authors made no disclosures.