Adalimumab Induces a Wound Healing Profile in Patients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa by Regulating Macrophage Differentiation and Matrix Metalloproteinase Expression

J Invest Dermatol. 2021 Nov;141(11):2730-2740.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2021.04.010. Epub 2021 May 31.


Adalimumab (ADA) is the only Food and Drug Administration‒approved treatment for moderate-to-severe hidradenitis suppurativa, whereas etanercept and certolizumab-pegol have been shown to be ineffective, suggesting that the mechanism of action of ADA is distinct in hidradenitis suppurativa and may contribute to improved wound healing. Given that macrophages (Mϕs) play pivotal roles throughout the wound healing process, an in vitro Mϕ differentiation assay was carried out to assess the impact of TNF‒anti-TNF complexes on these cells. TNF‒ADA complexes exhibited stronger inhibitory effects on inflammatory Mϕ differentiation. Moreover, RNA sequencing revealed several unique wound healing profiles for TNF‒ADA‒treated inflammatory Mϕs, which were not observed for those treated with either TNF‒etanercept or TNF‒certolizumab-pegol complexes, including the inhibition of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) pathway. In addition, ADA administration was found to significantly reduce the levels of inflammatory MMP-1 and MMP-9 while promoting wound-healing MMP-13 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 2 levels in the circulation of the patients with hidradenitis suppurativa who responded to treatment. Our in vitro findings show that TNF‒ADA‒treated inflammatory Mϕs exhibit a distinct profile resembling wound healing. Moreover, ADA not only differentially regulates MMP expression in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa responding to the therapy but also potentially induces a transition to a profile suggestive of wound healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab / pharmacology*
  • Adalimumab / therapeutic use
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Certolizumab Pegol / pharmacology
  • Etanercept / pharmacology
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / drug therapy*
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / physiology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases
  • Adalimumab
  • Etanercept
  • Certolizumab Pegol