Alternative for anti-TNF antibodies for arthritis treatment

Mol Ther. 2011 Oct;19(10):1887-95. doi: 10.1038/mt.2011.156. Epub 2011 Aug 2.


Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), a proinflammatory cytokine, plays a key role in the pathogenesis of many inflammatory diseases, including arthritis. Neutralization of this cytokine by anti-TNF-α antibodies has shown its efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is now widely used. Nevertheless, some patients currently treated with anti-TNF-α remain refractory or become nonresponder to these treatments. In this context, there is a need for new or complementary therapeutic strategies. In this study, we investigated in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory potentialities of an anti-TNF-α triplex-forming oligonucleotide (TFO), as judged from effects on two rat arthritis models. The inhibitory activity of this TFO on articular cells (synoviocytes and chondrocytes) was verified and compared to that of small interfering RNA (siRNA) in vitro. The use of the anti-TNF-α TFO as a preventive and local treatment in both acute and chronic arthritis models significantly reduced disease development. Furthermore, the TFO efficiently blocked synovitis and cartilage and bone destruction in the joints. The results presented here provide the first evidence that gene targeting by anti-TNF-α TFO modulates arthritis in vivo, thus providing proof-of-concept that it could be used as therapeutic tool for TNF-α-dependent inflammatory disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / therapeutic use*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Immunotherapy*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Rats
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha