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Eur J Immunol. 2001 Sep;31(9):2566-73.

Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor reduces the severity of virus-specific lung immunopathology.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute at St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, GB.


TNF antagonists are effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, and have been tried with variable success in other diseases caused by immune damage. To test the hypothesis that viral lung diseases caused by respiratory syncytial virus or influenza virus are partly due to overproduction of TNF, we used anti-TNF antibody to treat mice with lung disease caused by these viruses. TNF depletion reduced pulmonary recruitment of inflammatory cells, cytokine production by T cells and the severity of illness without preventing virus clearance. These broad beneficial effects suggest that TNF antagonists might be tested as treatments of human viral lung diseases.

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