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Mult Scler. 2012 May;18(5):605-9. doi: 10.1177/1352458511426816. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

EBV-specific immune responses in patients with multiple sclerosis responding to IFNβ therapy.

Author information

1
Centre d'Esclerosi Múltiple de Catalunya, CEM-Cat, Unitat de Neuroimmunologia Clínica, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Symptomatic primary infection with the human γ-herpesvirus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and elevated immune responses to EBV are associated with the development and progression of multiple sclerosis (MS). Interferon-beta (IFNβ), first-line treatment for relapse-onset MS, exhibits complex immunoregulatory and antiviral activities.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine EBV-specific immune responses in patients with MS during IFNβ therapy.

METHODS:

We evaluated cellular and humoral immune responses to EBV- and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-encoded antigens in patients with MS before and 1 year after IFNβ treatment by ELISA and flow cytometry. Twenty-eight patients with MS who showed a clinical response to IFNβ as defined by the absence of relapses and lack of progression on the Expanded Disability Status Scale score during the first 2 years of treatment were included.

RESULTS:

Clinically effective IFNβ-therapy was associated with a downregulation of proliferative T cell responses to the latent EBV nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA1). EBNA1-specific IgG responses as well as cellular and humoral immune responses to MHC class I restricted EBV antigens expressed during lytic replication and viral B cell transformation were similar before and after IFNβ therapy. Although HCMV-specific IgG levels slightly decreased, proliferative T-cell responses towards HCMV antigens remained unchanged during IFNβ therapy.

CONCLUSION:

Clinically effective IFNβ therapy is associated with a reduction of proliferative T-cell responses to EBNA1.

PMID:
22020417
DOI:
10.1177/1352458511426816
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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