Long-term outcomes in patients with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis receiving adalimumab with or without methotrexate


Objectives: Long-term safety and efficacy of adalimumab among patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) was evaluated through 6 years of treatment.

Methods: Children aged 4-17 years with polyarticular JIA were enrolled in a phase III, randomised-withdrawal, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial consisting of a 16-week open-label lead-in period, 32-week randomised double-blind period and 360-week long-term extension. Patients were stratified by baseline methotrexate use. Adverse events (AEs) were monitored, and efficacy assessments included JIA American College of Rheumatology (JIA ACR) 30%, 50%, 70% or 90% responses and the proportions of patients achieving 27-joint Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score (JADAS27) low disease activity (LDA, ≤3.8) and inactive disease (ID, ≤1).

Results: Of 171 patients enrolled, 62 (36%) completed the long-term extension. Twelve serious infections in 11 patients were reported through 592.8 patient-years of exposure. No cases of congestive heart failure-related AEs, demyelinating disease, lupus-like syndrome, malignancies, tuberculosis or deaths were reported. JIA ACR 30/50/70/90 responses and JADAS27 LDA were achieved in 66% to 96% of patients at week 104, and 63 (37%) patients achieved clinical remission (JADAS27 ID sustained for ≥6 continuous months) during the study. Attainment of JIA ACR 50 or higher and JADAS27 LDA or ID in the initial weeks were the best predictors of clinical remission. Mean JADAS27 decreased from baseline, 22.5 (n=170), to 2.5 (n=30) at week 312 (observed analysis).

Conclusions: Through 6 years of exposure, adalimumab was well tolerated with significant clinical response (up to clinical remission) and a relatively low retention rate.

tAnthrax Protective Antigen 63 (PA63): Toxic Effects in Neural Cultures and Role in Gulf War Illness (GWI)

Protective antigen (PA) 63 (PA63) is a protein derived from the PA83 component contained in the anthrax vaccine. The anthrax vaccine (“Biothrax”) was administered together with other vaccines to Gulf War veterans, about 35% of whom later developed a multisymptom disease (Gulf War Illness [GWI]), with prominent neurological/cognitive/mood symptoms, among others. The disease has been traditionally attributed to exposures to toxic chemicals during the war but other factors could be involved, including vaccines received. Of these, the anthrax vaccine is the most toxic. Here, we assessed directly the PA63 toxin’s harmful effects on cultured neuroblastoma 2A (N2A) cells with respect to cell spreading, process formation, apoptosis, and integrity of cell membrane, cytoskeleton, and mitochondria. We found that, when added in N2A cultures, PA63 toxin led to decreased cell spreading and cell aggregation, leading to apoptosis. The mechanisms of PA63-induced cell damage included compromised cell membrane permeability indicated by enhanced access of propidium iodide in cells. In addition, signaling pathways leading to organization of N2A cytoskeleton were negatively affected, as both actin and microtubular networks were compromised. Finally, the mitochondrial membrane potential was impaired in specific assays. Altogether, these alterations led to apoptosis as a collective toxic effect of PA63 which was substantially reduced by the concomitant addition of specific antibodies against PA63.

Authors: Daniel J Lovell, Hermine I Brunner, Andreas O Reiff, Lawrence Jung, Katerina Jarosova, Dana Němcová, Richard Mouy, Christy Sandborg, John F Bohnsack, Dirk Elewaut, Christos Gabriel, Gloria Higgins, Isabelle Kone-Paut, Olcay Y Jones, Veronika Vargová, Elizabeth Chalom, Carine Wouters, Ivan Lagunes, Yanna Song, Alberto Martini, Nicolino Ruperto
; Full Source: RMD open 2020 Jul;6(2):e001208. doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2020-001208.
; Authors: Effie-Photini C Tsilibary, Eric P Souto, Marian Kratzke, Lisa M James, Brian E Engdahl, Apostolos P Georgopoulos
; Full Source: Neuroscience insights 2020 Jun 30;15:2633105520931966. doi: 10.1177/2633105520931966.