Dual Blockade of TNF and IL-17A Inhibits Inflammation and Structural Damage in a Rat Model of Spondyloarthritis

Ihsan Hammoura, Renee H. Fiechter, Shaughn H. Bryant, Susan Westmoreland, Gillian Kingsbury, Wendy Waegell, Sander W. Tas, Dominique L. Baeten, Marleen G. H. van de Sande, Melissa N. van Tok, Leonie M. van Duivenvoorde

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and IL-23/IL-17 axes are the main therapeutic targets in spondyloarthritis. Despite the clinical efficacy of blocking either pathway, monotherapy does not induce remission in all patients and its effect on new bone formation remains unclear. We aimed to study the effect of TNF and IL-17A dual inhibition on clinical disease and structural damage using the HLA-B27/human β2-microglobulin transgenic rat model of SpA. Immunized rats were randomized according to arthritis severity, 1 week after arthritis incidence reached 50%, to be treated twice weekly for a period of 5 weeks with either a dual blockade therapy of an anti-TNF antibody and an anti-IL-17A antibody, a single therapy of either antibody, or PBS as vehicle control. Treatment-blinded observers assessed inflammation and structural damage clinically, histologically and by micro-CT imaging. Both single therapies as well as TNF and IL-17A dual blockade therapy reduced clinical spondylitis and peripheral arthritis effectively and similarly. Clinical improvement was confirmed for all treatments by a reduction of histological inflammation and pannus formation (p < 0.05) at the caudal spine. All treatments showed an improvement of structural changes at the axial and peripheral joints on micro-CT imaging, with a significant decrease for roughness (p < 0.05), which reflects both erosion and new bone formation, at the level of the caudal spine. The effect of dual blockade therapy on new bone formation was more prominent at the axial than the peripheral level. Collectively, our study showed that dual blockade therapy significantly reduces inflammation and structural changes, including new bone formation. However, we could not confirm a more pronounced effect of dual inhibition compared to single inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number859
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Animal disease model
  • Anti-IL 17A treatment
  • Anti-TNF treatment
  • Dual blockade
  • New bone formation
  • Spondyloarthritis

Cite this