Therapeutic antibodies elicited by immunization against TNF-alpha.
Dalum I., Butler DM., Jensen MR., Hindersson P., Steinaa L., Waterston AM., Grell SN., Feldmann M., Elsner HI., Mouritsen S.
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is critically involved in the pathogenesis of several chronic inflammatory diseases. Monoclonal antibodies against TNF-alpha are currently used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. This report describes a simple and effective method for active immunization against self TNF-alpha. This vaccination approach leads to a T-cell-dependent polyclonal and sustainable anti-TNF-alpha autoantibody response that declines upon discontinuation of booster injections. The autoantibodies are elicited by injecting modified recombinant TNF-alpha molecules containing foreign immunodominant T-helper epitopes. In mice immunized with such molecules, the symptoms of experimental cachexia and type II collagen-induced arthritis are ameliorated. These results suggest that vaccination against TNF-alpha may be a useful approach for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases.