Dermatologic disorders

Anti-TNF Therapy Could Effectively Treat HS

Anti-TNF therapy could be used to improve immune dysregulation in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa, according to a recent study.

Although hidradenitis suppurativa is relatively common, there is a lack of information on the pathogenesis of the disease.

To further explore this issue, researchers analyzed cells from the skin and blood of HS patients and healthy controls, using 16-parameter flow cytometry to create detailed profiles of CD4 T cell subsets.

Overall, they observed a substantial infiltration of inflammatory T cells with Th17-skewed cytokine profile in HS skin, noting that the cells expressed Th17 lineage marker CD161 and IL-17, as well as other pro-inflammatory cytokines, including TNF.

Skin from HS patients treated with anti-TNF therapy showed substantial clinical improvement compared with skin from untreated patients. It also showed a significant reduction in the frequency of Th17 cells and a normalized Th17: regulatory T cell ratio.

“These data suggest that inhibition of pathogenic IL-17 via TNF blockade is associated with improvement in the immune dysregulation in HS and may provide a rationale for targeting IL-17 in the disease.”

—Michael Potts


Moran B, Sweeney CM, ughes R, et al. Hidradenitis suppurativa is characterised by dysregulation of the Th17:Treg cell axis, which is corrected by anti-TNF therapy [published online June 23, 2017]. J Invest Dermatol. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.05.033.