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The treatment of autoimmune disorders has been revolutionised by the introduction of biologics such as anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF). Although in rheumatoid arthritis patients a bone sparing effect of anti-TNF has been shown, the mechanism is not fully understood. Anti-TNF molecules block tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and prevent signalling via both TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1; p55) and TNF receptor 2 (TNFR2; p75). However, signalling via TNFR2 is reported to have protective effects in a number of cell and organ systems. Hence we set out to investigate if pharmacological inhibition of TNFR1 had differential effects compared to pan-TNF inhibition in both an in vitro cell-based model of human osteoclast activity and an in vivo mouse model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced osteolysis. For the in vitro experiments the anti-human TNFR1 domain antibody (dAb) DMS5541 was used, whereas for the in vivo mouse experiments the anti-mouse TNFR1 dAb DMS5540 was used. We show that selective blocking of TNFR1 signalling reduced osteoclast formation in the presence of TNF. Subcutaneous LPS injection over the calvaria leads to the development of osteolytic lesions within days due to inflammation driven osteoclast formation. In this model, murine TNFR2 genetically fused with mouse IgG1 Fc domain (mTNFR2.Fc), an anti-TNF, did not protect from bone loss in contrast to anti-TNFR1, which significantly reduced lesion development, inflammatory infiltrate, and osteoclast number and size. These results support further exploring the use of TNFR1-selective inhibition in inflammatory bone loss disorders such as osteomyelitis and peri-prosthetic aseptic loosening.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem Biophys Res Commun

Publication Date





1145 - 1150


Bone, Calvaria, Lipopolysaccharide, TNF receptor 1, p55, Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Cell Count, Cell Proliferation, Cells, Cultured, Female, Humans, Lipopolysaccharides, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Osteoclasts, Osteolysis, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I, Treatment Outcome