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Etanercept Improves Lipid Profile And Oxidative Stress Measures In Patients With Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Sara De Sanctis, M. Loredana Marcovecchio, Stefania Gaspari, Marianna Del Torto, Angelika Mohn, Francesco Chiarelli, Luciana Breda

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Objective.To investigate the effect of 1-year treatment with the anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) drug etanercept on lipid profile and oxidative stress in children and adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).Methods.Thirty children with JIA (22 females; mean age 12.3 ± SD 5.7 yrs), all eligible for anti-TNF-α treatment, were assessed at baseline and after 6- and 12-month treatment with etanercept. Disease activity was determined using the Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score (JADAS). Blood samples were drawn to measure the acute-phase reactants C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), lipids, and the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6 and interferon-γ. To measure the oxidative stress marker 8-iso-prostaglandin F, 24-h urine samples were collected.Results.Inflammatory indicators (CRP and ESR) and JADAS scores improved significantly after 1 year of etanercept treatment (all p < 0.001). Proinflammatory cytokines showed significant reduction during the study period (all p < 0.001). Similar reductions were detected in total cholesterol (p < 0.001), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p = 0.04), and triglycerides (p < 0.001), whereas no significant change was found in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. No side effects were observed during the treatment period.Conclusion.This study shows for the first time that anti-TNF-α therapy for JIA is associated not only with a beneficial effect on clinical disease activity and inflammatory indexes, but also with improved lipid profile and oxidative stress. These findings suggest that TNF-α blockers might reduce atherosclerotic risk in children with JIA.