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Lack of effect of TNFα blockade therapy on circulating adiponectin levels in patients with autoimmune disease: results from two independent prospective studies
  1. Mike J L Peters1,
  2. Pauline Watt2,
  3. Lynne Cherry2,
  4. Paul Welsh2,
  5. Eric Henninger3,
  6. Ben A C Dijkmans1,4,
  7. Iain B McInnes2,
  8. Michael T Nurmohamed1,4,
  9. Naveed Sattar2
  1. 1VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  3. 3Merck Serono SA, Geneva, Switzerland
  4. 4Jan van Breemen Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Mike J L Peters, Department of Rheumatology, VU University Medical Center, P O Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, the Netherlands; mjl.peters{at}


Background Adiponectin is an anti-inflammatory and potentially antiatherogenic molecule. Some recent reports suggest that tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) blockade therapy increases circulating adiponectin levels, but data are sparse and inconsistent.

Methods Data from a double-blind placebo controlled study of onercept in 126 patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and from pre- and post-adalimumab treatment in 171 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were used to examine the effect of TNFα blockade therapy on adiponectin.

Results Despite expected associations of adiponectin with gender and baseline high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride, adiponectin levels did not change over time with TNFα blockade therapy in either group. The mean±SD absolute change in adiponectin levels was −0.23±4.6 μg/ml in patients with PsA treated with combined onercept 50 mg and onercept 100 mg (vs placebo, p=0.60) and 0.28±3.23 μg/ml in patients with RA treated with adalimumab (vs baseline, p=0.66).

Conclusion These results do not support a significant effect of TNFα blockade therapy on circulating adiponectin levels in patients with autoimmune disease.

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  • MTN and NS are joint senior authors

  • Funding Serono International SA had a role in designing the study and data collection involving patients with PsA. Serono gave permission to submit the manuscript for publication and approved the content of the manuscript. Abbott partially supported the clinical part of the study involving patients with RA but did not have any involvement in designing the study, data collection, writing the report and the decision to submit the paper for publication. MJLP received a EULAR bursary and this research was conducted while he was an ARTICULUM Fellow.

  • Competing interests EH is an employee of Merck Serono SA, Geneva, an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained and all patients gave written informed consent to participate in the study.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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