Profile of adalimumab and its potential in the treatment of uveitis

Drug Des Devel Ther. 2016 Sep 19:10:2997-3003. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S94188. eCollection 2016.


Uveitis refers to the presence of intraocular inflammation, and as a strict definition compromises the iris and ciliary body anteriorly and the choroid posteriorly (the uvea). Untreated, uveitis can lead to visual loss or blindness. The etiology of uveitis can include both infectious and noninfectious (usually immune-mediated) causes, the latter of which are often mediated predominantly by Th1 CD4+ T-cells that secrete proinflammatory cytokines. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is a proinflammatory cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of uveitis, which at high concentrations can cause excess inflammation and tissue damage. Adalimumab is a recombinant human IgG1 monoclonal antibody specific for human TNF-α. Historically, corticosteroids and methotrexate were used to treat uveitis; however, newer biologic agents such as adalimumab have revolutionized therapy for noninfectious uveitis. Adalimumab has shown efficacy in treating refractory uveitis in multiple settings, including idiopathic disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, sarcoidosis, Behçets disease, and uveitis secondary to spondyloarthropathies, among several other noninfectious uveitis conditions. In this paper, we will review the profile of adalimumab, the role of TNF-α in uveitis, discuss safety data, and summarize key articles evaluating the efficacy of adalimumab in treating uveitis secondary to the most commonly associated autoimmune diseases.

Keywords: TNF-α; adalimumab; autoimmune disease; uveitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab / pharmacology*
  • Adalimumab / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / complications*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use*
  • Methotrexate / chemistry
  • Methotrexate / pharmacology*
  • Sarcoidosis / drug therapy*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / chemistry
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Uveitis / drug therapy*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Adalimumab
  • Methotrexate