Rheumatology International

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 841–846 | Cite as

An evaluation of anti-TNF-alpha-therapy in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: imbalanced activation of NF kappa B subunits in lymphocytes and modulation of serum cortisol concentration

  • Martin Eggert
  • Ulrike Seeck
  • Marco Semmler
  • Ulrich Maaß
  • Sabine Dietmann
  • Martin Schulz
  • Helmut Dotzlaw
  • Gunther NeeckEmail author
Original Article


The aim of this study was to analyse patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) during the course of infliximab therapy. The molecular effects were evaluated using lymphocytes and sera that were isolated before therapy began, then again after 2 and 12 weeks from 17 AS patients and compared to those of 24 healthy control individuals. All 17 AS patients responded to treatment with infliximab as assessed using BASDAI. Elevated serum levels of IL-6, CRP and cortisol were reduced to normal levels by the 12 weeks time point. The level of DNA-binding p65 was decreased during the course of infliximab therapy whereas the level of DNA-binding p50 remained elevated until the 12 weeks time point. Taken together, Infliximab is an effective treatment for AS and results in decreased levels of the inflammation markers IL-6 and CRP, and of endogenous cortisol concentration. Unequal alterations in the levels of activated NF-κB subunits p50 and p65 might provide insights into the mechanisms of NF-κB action and anti-TNF-α therapy in AS.


Ankylosing spondylitis Glucocorticoids Lymphocytes NF-κB Anti-TNF-α-therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Eggert
    • 1
  • Ulrike Seeck
    • 1
  • Marco Semmler
    • 1
  • Ulrich Maaß
    • 1
  • Sabine Dietmann
    • 3
  • Martin Schulz
    • 2
  • Helmut Dotzlaw
    • 2
  • Gunther Neeck
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine and Center of RheumatologyRostock Clinic SouthRostockGermany
  2. 2.BIOMEDRO Ltd at Institute for GeneticsJustus-Liebig-Universität GießenGießenGermany
  3. 3.MIPS/Institute of BioinformaticsGSF, Research Center for Health and EnvironmentNeuherbergGermany

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