Anti-TNF Therapies Suppress Adipose Tissue Inflammation in Crohn’s Disease

Albert Boronat-Toscano, Diandra Monfort Ferré, Margarita Menacho, Aleidis Caro, Ramon Bosch Príncep, Beatriz Espina, Francisco Algaba-Chueca, Alfonso Saera-Vila, Alicia Moliné, Marc Marti, Eloy Espin-Basany, Mónica Millan, Carolina Serena

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Anti-TNF biologics have been shown to markedly improve the quality of life for patients with Crohn’s disease (CD), yet one-third of patients fail to benefit from this treatment. Patients with CD develop a characteristic wrapping of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in the inflamed intestinal area, termed creeping fat, and it is known that adipose tissue expansion influences the efficacy of anti-TNF drugs. We questioned whether anti-TNF therapies impact the creeping fat in CD, which might affect the outcome of the disease. Adipose tissue biopsies were obtained from a cohort of 14 patients with CD that received anti-TNF drugs and from 29 non-anti-TNF-treated patients (control group) matched by sex, age, and body mass index undergoing surgical interventions for symptomatic complications. We found that anti-TNF therapies restored adipose tissue morphology and suppressed immune cell infiltration in the creeping fat. Additionally, anti-TNF treatments appeared to markedly improve the pro-inflammatory phenotype of adipose-tissue macrophages and adipose-tissue-derived stem cells. Our study provides evidence that anti-TNF medications influence immune cells and progenitor cells in the creeping of patients with CD, suppressing inflammation. We propose that perilesional VAT should be considered when administering anti-TNF therapy in patients with CD.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11170
Number of pages15
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • Adalimumab
  • Adipose tissue
  • Creeping fat
  • Infliximab
  • TNF


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