, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 457-461
Date: 19 Dec 2009

Serum chemokines in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with etanercept

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Chemokines promote leucocyte traffic into the synovium, leading to the initiation and progression of the rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of the study was to determine the effects of etanercept, a soluble tumour necrosis factor receptor (sTNFr), on the serum chemokines levels in patients with active RA. Patients were treated with 50 mg of subcutaneous injection of etanercept per week and methotrexate (10–25 mg/week). Serum levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8), RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were assessed by ELISA at months 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12, prior to injection. 3-month treatment with etanercept diminished serum concentrations of IL-8, RANTES and MCP-1 (P < 0.05, P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively). Subsequent etanercept administrations prolonged decrease in serum chemokines levels and in the case of IL-8 even intensified the reduction of its concentration in serum. These changes were accompanied by significant decrease of disease activity score (DAS28) (in all cases P < 0.001). Prior to the first etanercept administration, serum concentrations of studied chemokines correlated with markers of RA activity such as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and DAS28. Following next drug injection such associations were less or not significant. Therapy with etanercept and MTX not only caused a clinical improvement but also diminished serum chemokines levels in RA patients. Further treatment with etanercept sustained chemokines suppression.