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Open Access Research article

Antibody-mediated delivery of IL-10 inhibits the progression of established collagen-induced arthritis

Eveline Trachsel1, Frank Bootz1, Michela Silacci1, Manuela Kaspar1, Hartwig Kosmehl2 and Dario Neri1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Paulistrasse 10, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland

2 Institute of Pathology, Helios Klinikum Erfurt, Nordhaeuser Strasse 74, D-99089 Erfurt, Germany

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:R9  doi:10.1186/ar2115

Published: 29 January 2007

Abstract

The antibody-mediated targeted delivery of cytokines to sites of disease is a promising avenue for cancer therapy, but it is largely unexplored for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions. Using both radioactive and fluorescent techniques, the human monoclonal antibodies L19 and G11 (specific to two markers of angiogenesis that are virtually undetectable in normal adult tissues) were found to selectively localize at arthritic sites in the murine collagen-induced model of rheumatoid arthritis following intravenous (i.v.) administration. The same animal model was used to study the therapeutic action of the L19 antibody fused to the cytokines IL-2, tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and IL-10. Whereas L19–IL-2 and L19–TNF treatment led to increased arthritic scores and paw swellings, the fusion protein L19–IL-10 displayed a therapeutic activity, which was superior to the activity of IL-10 fused to an antibody of irrelevant specificity in the mouse. The anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 has been investigated for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but clinical development plans have been discontinued because of a lack of efficacy. Because the antigen recognised by L19 is strongly expressed at sites of arthritis in humans and identical in both mice and humans, it suggests that the fusion protein L19–IL-10 might help overcome some of the clinical limitations of IL-10 and provide a therapeutic benefit to patients with chronic inflammatory disorders, including arthritis.