In this both narrative and systematic review, we explore the role of TNF-α in the immunopathogenesis of Behçet’s disease (BD) and the effect of treatment with TNF-α blockers. BD is an auto-inflammatory disease, characterized by recurrent painful oral ulcerations. The pathogenesis of BD is not yet elucidated; it is assumed that TNF-α may play a key role. In the narrative review, we report an increased production of TNF-α, which may be stimulated via TLR-signaling, or triggered by increased levels of IL-1β and IFN-γ. The abundance of TNF-α is found in both serum and in sites of inflammation. This increased presence of TNF-α stimulates T-cell development toward pro-inflammatory subsets, such as Th17 and Th22 cells. Treatment directed against the surplus of TNF-α is investigated in the systematic review, performed according to the PRISMA guideline. We searched the Pubmed and Cochrane database, including comparative studies only. After including 11 studies, we report a beneficial effect of treatment with TNF-α blockers on the various manifestations of BD. In conclusion, the pivotal role of TNF-α in the immunopathogenesis of BD is reflected in both the evidence of their pro-inflammatory effects in BD and in the evidence of the positive effect of treatment on the course of disease in BD.

Behçet’s disease, Review, TNF-α, TNF-α blockers,
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Houwen, T. (Tim), & van Laar, J.A.M. (2020). Behҫet’s disease, and the role of TNF-α and TNF-α blockers. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Vol. 21). doi:10.3390/ijms21093072