Estimating tissue-specific TNF mRNA levels prior to anti-TNFα treatment may support therapeutic optimisation in IBD patients

Jaslin P James*, Boye Schnack Nielsen, Ebbe Langholz, Mikkel Malham, Estrid Høgdall, Lene Buhl Riis

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde
2 Citationer (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF) antagonists have improved the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), however, their usage and administration persist to be suboptimal. Here, we examined the relationship between tissue-specific TNF mRNA expression in mucosal biopsies from IBD patients and anti-TNF treatment response.

METHODS: Archived tissue samples from patients with luminal IBD that had all been or were in treatment with anti-TNF were included (18 adults and 24 paediatric patients). Patients were stratified into three groups according to anti-TNF response: responders, primary non-responders (PNR) and secondary loss of response (SLOR). TNF mRNA was detected using RNAscope in situ hybridisation (ISH) and the expression was quantified using image analysis.

RESULTS: The ISH analysis showed varying occurrence of TNF mRNA positive cells located in lamina propria and often with increased density in lymphoid follicles (LF). Consequently, expression estimates were obtained in whole tissue areas with and without LF. Significantly higher TNF mRNA expression levels were measured in adults compared to paediatric patients in both the analyses with and without LF (p = .015 and p = .016, respectively). Considering the relation to response, the adult and paediatric patients were evaluated separately. In adults, the TNF expression estimates were higher in PNRs compared to responders with and without LF (p = .017 and p = .024, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that adult PNR have significantly higher TNF mRNA levels than responders. This suggests that higher anti-TNF dose may be considered for IBD patients with high TNF mRNA expression estimates from the start of treatment.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)1237-1245
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 28 maj 2023


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