Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha treatment reduces allergic responses in an allergic rhinitis mouse model

Allergy. 2011 Feb;66(2):279-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02476.x. Epub 2010 Sep 7.


Background: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is a principal mediator of the acute inflammatory response, including allergic rhinitis. TNF-α inhibitors are widely used for the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases; however, the effects of TNF-α inhibitors on allergic rhinitis are not well established. We aimed to investigate the effects of infliximab, a TNF-α inhibitor, on allergic rhinitis in a mouse model.

Methods: BALB/c mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) and alum, and challenged intranasally with OVA. The TNF-α inhibitor, infliximab was administered intraperitoneally, and multiple parameters of allergic responses were evaluated to determine the effects of infliximab.

Results: Infliximab reduced allergic symptoms and eosinophilic infiltration into the nasal mucosa. It also suppressed total and OVA-specific IgE levels, and inhibited local Th2 cytokine transcription in the nasal mucosa and systemic Th2 cytokine production by splenocytes. Furthermore, the expression of E-selectin, neither intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) nor vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), in the nasal mucosa was suppressed in the infliximab-treated group when compared to the nontreated group.

Conclusion: This study shows that the TNF-α inhibitor infliximab induces anti-allergic effects by decreasing local and systemic Th2 cytokine (IL-4) production, total and OVA-specific IgE levels, adhesion molecule (E-selectin) expression, and eosinophil infiltration into the nasal mucosa in an allergic rhinitis model. Therefore, infliximab should be considered as a potential agent in treating allergic rhinitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / drug effects
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / drug effects
  • Eosinophils / drug effects
  • Hypersensitivity / drug therapy*
  • Immunoglobulin E / drug effects
  • Infliximab
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Nasal Mucosa / immunology
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Rhinitis / drug therapy*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ovalbumin
  • Infliximab