Counter-Regulatory Balance: Atopic Dermatitis in Patients Undergoing Infliximab Infuson Therapy

May 2004 | Volume 3 | Issue 3 | Case Reports | 315 | Copyright © May 2004

Joanna L. Chan, AB; Linda Davis-Reed, MD and Alexa Boer Kimball, MD, MPH

Atopic dermatitis has been characterized as an autoimmune or auto-allergic phenomenon in which environmental allergens resembling human proteins activate auto-reactive T-cells to release pro-inflammatory cytokines of the T-helper 2 (Th2) cytokine profile (IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13)1-3. Infliximab is a chimeric IgG1 monoclonal antibody that blocks the effects of the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-?. Infliximab has been shown to benefit greatly patients suffering from diseases associated with a Th1 profile (IL-1, TNF-?, and IFN-?), such as psoriasis, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis4-8. Some researchers have suggested that disrupting the Th1-Th2 balance by downregulating Th1 cytokines may result in manifestations of Th2 disease. Consistent with this hypothesis, we present the cases of three patients who exhibited vivid manifestations of atopic dermatitis after the inception of infliximab induction therapy.