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Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2007 Jan;19(1):61-6.

Syndromes and complications of interferon therapy.

Author information

  • 1Department of Rheumatology, University College London Hospital, UK. frances.borg@doctors.org.uk

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Interferons are used to treat a variety of medical conditions. They are integral players in immunity and a number of immune-mediated complications can arise during interferon therapy. We have reviewed the occurrence of these complications, and the mechanisms behind them.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Case reports and follow-up studies of large cohorts of patients on interferon therapy have confirmed that immune-mediated complications are uncommon but can occur in a number of different organ systems. IFNalpha production is induced by specific autoantibody-nuclear antigen immune complexes, and has a key role in the development and maintenance of autoimmunity in systemic lupus erythematosus.

SUMMARY:

Interferon therapy can precipitate immune-mediated abnormalities de novo or can exacerbate an existing autoimmune tendency. This is manifest in the rise in titre of existing antibodies and in the development of clinical disease in patients with preexisting antibodies. Type I interferons have a key role in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus.

PMID:
17143098
DOI:
10.1097/BOR.0b013e328010c547
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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