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The effect of tumour necrosis factor (TNF alpha) antibodies on synovial cell interleukin-1 (IL-1) production was investigated in 7 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and in 7 with osteoarthritis. Synovial cell IL-1 production was significantly reduced by anti-TNF alpha antibody in cultures from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but antilymphotoxin antibody did not have this effect (except in 1 culture). In cultures from patients with osteoarthritis spontaneous IL-1 production was low, despite high concentrations of TNF alpha, and IL-1 production was not inhibited by anti-TNF alpha antibody. In rheumatoid arthritis, TNF alpha may be the main inducer of IL-1, and anti-TNF alpha agents may be useful in treatment.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





244 - 247


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antilymphocyte Serum, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Cells, Cultured, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, Humans, Immune Sera, Interleukin-1, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoarthritis, Synovial Membrane, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha