Sarcoidosis is an idiopathic inflammatory disorder that is commonly treated with glucocorticoids. An imprecise understanding of the immunologic changes underlying sarcoidosis has limited therapeutic progress. Here in this open-label trial (NCT03910543), 10 patients with cutaneous sarcoidosis are treated with tofacitinib, a Janus kinase inhibitor. The primary outcome is the change in the cutaneous sarcoidosis activity and morphology instrument (CSAMI) activity score after 6 months of treatment. Secondary outcomes included change in internal organ involvement, molecular parameters, and safety. All patients experience improvement in their skin with 6 patients showing a complete response. Improvement in internal organ involvement is also observed. CD4+ T cell-derived IFN-γ is identified as a central cytokine mediator of macrophage activation in sarcoidosis. Additional type 1 cytokines produced by distinct cell types, including IL-6, IL-12, IL-15 and GM-CSF, also associate with pathogenesis. Suppression of the activity of these cytokines, especially IFN-γ, correlates with clinical improvement. Our results thus show that tofacitinib treatment is associated with improved sarcoidosis symptoms, and predominantly acts by inhibiting type 1 immunity.
cytokines, metabolism, piperidines, pyrimidines, sarcoidosis
Damsky W, Wang A, Kim DJ, Young BD, Singh K, Murphy MJ, Daccache J, Clark A, Ayasun R, Ryu C, McGeary MK, Odell ID, Fazzone-Chettiar R, Pucar D, Homer R, Gulati M, Miller EJ, Bosenberg M, Flavell RA, King B. Inhibition of Type 1 Immunity With Tofacitinib is Associated With Marked Improvement in Longstanding Sarcoidosis. Nature Communications. 2022; 13(1). doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-30615-x.