This article is part of the supplement: Current perspectives on the treatment of rheumatic diseases with infliximab
How does infliximab work in rheumatoid arthritis?
The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology Division, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London, UK
Arthritis Res 2002, 4(Suppl 2):S22-S28 doi:10.1186/ar549Published: 27 March 2002
Since the initial characterization of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), it has become clear that TNFα has diverse biologic activity. The realization that TNFα plays a role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has led to the development of anti-TNF agents for the treatment of RA. Infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody that specifically, and with high affinity, binds to TNFα and neutralizes the cytokine, is currently approved for the treatment of RA and Crohn's disease, another immune-inflammatory disorder. In addition to establishing the safety and efficacy of infliximab, clinical research has also provided insights into the complex cellular and cytokine-dependent pathways involved in the pathophysiology of RA, including evidence that supports TNFα involvement in cytokine regulation, cell recruitment, angiogenesis, and tissue destruction.