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© Research
Publication : Arthritis research & therapy

Effect of methotrexate and anti-TNF on Epstein-Barr virus T-cell response and viral load in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or spondylarthropathies

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Arthritis research & therapy - 26 May 2009

Miceli-Richard C, Gestermann N, Amiel C, Sellam J, Ittah M, Pavy S, Urrutia A, Girauld I, Carcelain G, Venet A, Mariette X

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19470150

Arthritis Res. Ther. 2009;11(3):R77

INTRODUCTION: There is a suspicion of increased risk of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoproliferations in patients with inflammatory arthritides receiving immunosuppressive drugs. We investigated the EBV load and EBV-specific T-cell response in patients treated with methotrexate (MTX) or anti-TNF therapy.

METHODS: Data for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (n = 58) or spondylarthropathy (SpA) (n = 28) were analyzed at baseline in comparison with controls (n = 22) and after 3 months of MTX or anti-TNF therapy for EBV load and EBV-specific IFNgamma-producing T cells in response to EBV latent-cycle and lytic-cycle peptides.

RESULTS: The EBV load and the number of IFNgamma-producing T-cells after peptide stimulation were not significantly different between groups at baseline (P = 0.61 and P = 0.89, respectively). The EBV load was not significantly modified by treatment, for RA with MTX (P = 0.74) or anti-TNF therapy (P = 0.94) or for SpA with anti-TNF therapy (P = 1.00). The number of EBV-specific T cells was not significantly modified by treatment, for RA with MTX (P = 0.58) or anti-TNF drugs (P = 0.19) or for SpA with anti-TNF therapy (P = 0.39). For all patients, the EBV load and EBV-specific T cells were significantly correlated (P = 0.017; R = 0.21). For most patients, short-term exposure (3 months) to MTX or anti-TNF did not alter the EBV load or EBV-specific T-cell response but two patients had discordant evolution.

CONCLUSIONS: These data are reassuring and suggest there is no short-term defect in EBV-immune surveillance in patients receiving MTX or anti-TNF drugs. However, in these patients, long term follow-up of EBV-specific T-cell response is necessary and the role of non-EBV-related mechanisms of lymphomagenesis is not excluded.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19470150