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J Neuroimmunol. 1999 Sep 1;99(1):131-41.

Influence of interferon beta-1a dose frequency on PBMC cytokine secretion and biological effect markers.

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Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Interferon-beta regimens for immune-mediated diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), have not been compared regarding their biological effects. In this randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study, cytokine secretion by mitogen-stimulated PBMCs and serum response markers were assessed in volunteers receiving subcutaneous recombinant IFN beta-1a (Rebif, Ares-Serono) 22 microg once a week (QW), 22 microg three times a week, 66 microg QW, or placebo. The production of IL-1beta, IL-6, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha and TNF-beta markedly decreased during 24-48 h after each injection, with limited dose-dependency and no evidence of tolerance or effect augmentation over 1 month. IL-10 secretion remained unchanged. The increase in serum beta2-microglobulin, neopterin and 2-5A-synthetase was more sustained. Thus, IFN-beta-induced immunomodulation in vivo strongly depends on the administration schedule, the time-integrated effect being 2-3 times greater when a same weekly dose is divided in three injections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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