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Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Oct;23(5):595-600. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-8206.2009.00717.x. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Effects of a 6-month infliximab treatment on plasma levels of leptin and adiponectin in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Laboratory of Physiology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece.


Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) appear to have increased plasma levels of leptin and adiponectin. These adipokines may be implicated in the pathophysiology of RA. Tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) is a potential modulator of adipokines. The effects of long-term anti-TNF treatment on plasma levels of leptin and adiponectin are not clear. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of 6-month anti-TNF treatment (infliximab) on leptin and adiponectin plasma levels in RA patients. Thirty women with RA were included in the study. Patients with diabetes mellitus, any endocrine disorder or receiving any hypolipidemic or antidiabetic medication were not included. Thirty healthy age- and body mass index-matched women served as controls. Plasma levels of leptin and adiponectin were measured with enzyme immunoassay methods prior to and after the 6-month treatment with infliximab. Mean age and disease duration of patients were 51.8 +/- 14.4 and 12.2 +/- 6.7 years, respectively. Body weight did not change significantly over the 6-month period. Plasma levels of leptin and adiponectin were higher in patients than controls and did not change significantly after 6-month treatment. Interestingly, in the tertile of patients with the highest baseline adiponectin concentrations, adiponectin levels were significantly reduced (P < 0.05). Infliximab treatment did not change plasma levels of leptin and adiponectin after 6-month treatment in the whole study population. However, a reduction of adiponectin levels was observed in patients with higher baseline adiponectin levels.

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