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In the article, the literature on the effects of TNFa-antagonists (etanercept, infliximab and adalimumab) on the immune system is reviewed. These biologic agents are employed in chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, seronegative spondyloarthritides, as well as psoriasis and Crohn’s disease. The differences of these drugs, testified by the different effects on the immune response, are discussed. These molecules exert their effect through cytokine inhibition, but they present striking differences since they can modulate macrophage activity, T cells apoptosis, leukocyte migration, and angiogenesis to a different degree. Some studies showed that these agents also affect the hypothalamo- pituitary-adrenal axis. The potential immunogenicity of these biologic agents is also discussed.
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