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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2015 Mar;253(3):457-65. doi: 10.1007/s00417-014-2856-3. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Anti-interferon alpha antibodies and autoantibodies in patients with Behçet's disease uveitis treated with recombinant human interferon alpha-2a.

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Istanbul Faculty of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology, Istanbul University, Istanbul Tip Fakultesi, Goz Hastaliklari A.D. Capa, Istanbul, 34093, Turkey.



Recombinant human (rh) interferon alpha2a (IFN-α2a) therapy is successfully used for the treatment of Behçet's disease (BD) uveitis refractory to conventional immunosuppressive treatment.


Our aim in this study was to investigate the frequency and clinical significance of anti-IFN-α antibodies and autoantibodies during recombinant human rhIFN-α2a therapy in patients with BD uveitis.


This comparative, cross-sectional, serological screening study included 30 BD patients treated with rhIFN-α2a (Group 1), 29 BD patients treated with conventional immunosuppressive agents (Group 2), 29 BD patients who received only colchicine (Group 3), and 30 healthy subjects (Group 4). Anti-IFN-α-binding antibodies and autoantibodies, including anti-nuclear antibody, anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody, and anti-cardiolipin antibody, were measured in serum samples. Antibody seropositivity was compared between study groups. Retrospective clinical data were compared between antibody-positive and antibody-negative patients.


A significantly higher proportion of patients in Group 1 had anti-interferon-α (26.6 %) and autoantibody (30 %) seropositivity compared to the other groups. No correlation was found between seropositivity for anti-interferon-α and other autoantibodies. No significant difference was found in cumulative dose of IFN-α, duration of IFN-α therapy, time to first uveitis attack, or attack rate between anti-interferon-α antibody-positive and antibody-negative patients in Group 1. Uveitis attacks were observed in 22 % of autoantibody-positive and 71 % of autoantibody-negative patients in Group 1 (p = 0.018).


Patients with BD uveitis develop anti-IFN-α-binding antibodies and autoantibodies during treatment with rhIFN-α2a. While the clinical relevance of anti-IFN-α-binding antibodies remains unclear in this study, induction of autoimmunity was found to be associated with a tendency for better therapeutic response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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