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Immunol Lett. 2005 Nov 15;101(2):210-6.

Administration of agonistic anti-4-1BB monoclonal antibody leads to the amelioration of inflammatory bowel disease.

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Transplantation Research Center, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50 Ilwon-Dong, Kangnam-Ku, Seoul 135-710, South Korea.


4-1BB (CDw 137), a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily, is a costimulatory receptor primarily expressed on activated T cells. It has been shown that the administration of agonistic anti-4-1BB monoclonal antibody (mAb) enhances tumor immunity and allogenic immune responses. Paradoxically, we found that the administration of anti-4-1BB mAb reduced the incidence and severity of inflammatory bowel disease. In this study, we investigated the effects of anti-4-1BB mAb in a murine intestinal inflammation model, which induced by the hapten reagent, 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) and mimics immunologic characteristics of human Crohn's disease (CD). Colitis was induced by rectal administration of 2mg of TNBS in 35% ethanol using a vinyl catheter positioned 4cm from the anus. All mice were sacrificed 3 and 10 days after the TNBS administration. The disease activity index (DAI), histological changes of the colon and production of cytokines (IL-2, IL-4, IL-10 and IFN-gamma) were evaluated. The surface molecules of T cells in peripheral blood, spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes were analyzed by flow cytometry. When mice were treated with anti-4-1BB mAb, improvement in both wasting and histopathologic signs of colonic inflammation was observed. The increase a number of splenic CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells and decreased synthesis of the Th1 cytokine IL-2 also occurred. Interestingly, increased production of Th1 cytokine IFN-gamma and proportion of CD8(+) T cells were observed in mice treated with anti-4-1BB mAb in comparison to the colitic mice. These studies show, for the first time, that agonistic anti-4-1BB mAb can improve experimental colitis by reduction of IL-2 and augmentation of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells. TNBS colitis is Th1-mediated and has similar histologic features and distribution of inflammation to CD. This study suggests that anti-4-1BB mAb therapy could be effective in the treatment of patients with CD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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