Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha treatment reduces allergic responses in an allergic rhinitis mouse model


  • Edited by: Angela Haczku

Dong-Young Kim, MD, PhD, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Korea.
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To cite this article: Mo J-H, Kang E-K, Quan S-H, Rhee C-S, Lee CH, Kim D-Y. Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha treatment reduces allergic responses in an allergic rhinitis mouse model. Allergy 2011; 66: 279–286.


Background:  Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is a principal mediator of the acute inflammatory response, including allergic rhinitis. TNF-α inhibitors are widely used for the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases; however, the effects of TNF-α inhibitors on allergic rhinitis are not well established. We aimed to investigate the effects of infliximab, a TNF-α inhibitor, on allergic rhinitis in a mouse model.

Methods:  BALB/c mice were sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) and alum, and challenged intranasally with OVA. The TNF-α inhibitor, infliximab was administered intraperitoneally, and multiple parameters of allergic responses were evaluated to determine the effects of infliximab.

Results:  Infliximab reduced allergic symptoms and eosinophilic infiltration into the nasal mucosa. It also suppressed total and OVA-specific IgE levels, and inhibited local Th2 cytokine transcription in the nasal mucosa and systemic Th2 cytokine production by splenocytes. Furthermore, the expression of E-selectin, neither intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) nor vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), in the nasal mucosa was suppressed in the infliximab-treated group when compared to the nontreated group.

Conclusion:  This study shows that the TNF-α inhibitor infliximab induces anti-allergic effects by decreasing local and systemic Th2 cytokine (IL-4) production, total and OVA-specific IgE levels, adhesion molecule (E-selectin) expression, and eosinophil infiltration into the nasal mucosa in an allergic rhinitis model. Therefore, infliximab should be considered as a potential agent in treating allergic rhinitis.