Anti-TNF-alpha therapy enhances the effects of enzyme replacement therapy in rats with mucopolysaccharidosis type VI

Efrat Eliyahu, Theodore Wolfson, Yi Ge, Karl J. Jepsen, Edward H. Schuchman, Calogera M. Simonaro

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Background: Although enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) is available for several lysosomal storage disorders, the benefit of this treatment to the skeletal system is very limited. Our previous work has shown the importance of the Toll-like receptor 4/TNF-alpha inflammatory pathway in the skeletal pathology of the mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS), and we therefore undertook a study to examine the additive benefit of combining anti-TNF-alpha therapy with ERT in a rat model of MPS type VI. Methodology/Principal Findings: MPS VI rats were treated for 8 months with Naglazyme® (recombinant human N-acetyl-galactosamine-4-sulfatase), or by a combined protocol using Naglazyme® and the rat-specific anti-TNF-alpha drug, CNTO1081. Both protocols led to markedly reduced serum levels of TNF-alpha and RANKL, although only the combined treatment reduced TNF-alpha in the articular cartilage. Analysis of cultured articular chondrocytes showed that the combination therapy also restored collagen IIA1 expression, and reduced expression of the apoptotic marker, PARP. Motor activity and mobility were improved by ERT, and these were significantly enhanced by combination treatment. Tracheal deformities in the MPS VI animals were only improved by combination therapy, and there was a modest improvement in bone length. Ceramide levels in the trachea also were markedly reduced. MicroCT analysis did not demonstrate any significant positive effects on bone microarchitecture from either treatment, nor was there histological improvement in the bone growth plates. Conclusions/Significance: The results demonstrate that combining ERT with anti-TNF- alpha therapy improved the treatment outcome and led to significant clinical benefit. They also further validate the usefulness of TNF-alpha, RANKL and other inflammatory molecules as biomarkers for the MPS disorders. Further evaluation of this combination approach in other MPS animal models and patients is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22447
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2011


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