Interferon-β treatment in multiple sclerosis patients decreases the number of circulating T cells producing interferon-γ and interleukin-4

Roberto Furlan, Alessandra Bergami, Rosmarie Lang, Elena Brambilla, Diego Franciotta, Vittorlo Martinelli, Giancarlo Comi, Paola Panina, Gianvito Martino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Systemic administration of interferon (IFN)-β has been recently approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The immunological mechanism by which IFN-β ameliorates MS is still partially unknown. We measured the number of blood circulating CD4+, CD4-, CD8+, and CD8- T cells secreting IFN-γ and IL-4 in 26 RRMS patients followed for up to 9 months of an alternate day s.c. treatment with 8x16 IU of IFN-β1b. Compared to pre-treatment values, a significant (P+, CD4-, CD8+ and CD8- cells producing IFN-γ and of CD4+ and CD4- cells producing IL-4 was observed in MS patients. The IFN-β-associated effect was evident soon after the beginning of the treatment and persisted for the entire follow-up period. We did not observe any effect of IFN-β treatment on the percentage of IL-4-producing CD8+ and CD8- cells nor in that of natural killer (NK) cells producing IFN-γ. Our results show that IFN-β treatment in MS patients induces a profound and persistent down-regulation of the number of circulating T cells secreting IFN-γ and IL-4 thus suggesting a broader rather than a specific immunomodulatory effect of IFN-β in MS. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Volume111
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2000

Keywords

  • Interferon-β
  • Intracellular cytokine staining
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • T helper cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Neurology

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