Tocilizumab Increases Serum Adiponectin and Reduces Serum Fatty Acid Binding Protein 4 in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hayato Urushima, Yasuaki Sanada, Atsushi Ogata, Masami Yoshida, Hsiaoyun Lin, Keisuke Hagihara, Masashi Narazaki, Toshio Tanaka, Toshinori Ito, Kazuhisa Maeda


Background: Recently tocilizumab, a humanized anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody (IL-6R Ab), was clinically demonstrated to ameliorate metabolic syndrome. However, it is unknown whether blocking the IL-6R with tocilizumab directly impacts the adiponectin and fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4) levels.

Methods: In this study, we measured the serum adiponectin and FABP4 levels in 18 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) 3 months after treatment with tocilizumab.

Results: Our study revealed that treatment with tocilizumab decreased serum FABP4 levels and increased serum adiponectin levels in patients with RA. We also assessed the production of adipocytokines stimulated by IL-6R Ab using adipocyte precursors obtained from human fat tissue. Tocilizumab did not increase local adiponectin levels; however, the suppression of adiponectin secretion by IL-6 was completely abolished. Tocilizumab also directly suppressed FABP4 in human adipocytes.

Conclusion: This suggests that treatment with tocilizumab may be a novel approach to coordinately regulate adiponectin and FABP4 levels.

J Endocrinol Metab. 2014;4(5-6):143-147


Rheumatoid arthritis; IL-6; Adiponectin; FABP4; Tocilizumab

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