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More MS news articles for December 2003

Is serum neopterin level a marker of responsiveness to interferon beta-1a therapy in multiple sclerosis?

Acta Neurol Scand. 2004 Jan;109(1):61-5
Casoni F, Merelli E, Bedin R, Sola P, Bertolotto A, Faglioni P.
Department of Neurology, University of Modena, Modena, Italy Laboratory of Clinical Neurobiology, University of Turin, Orbassano, Italy.


Interferon beta (INFbeta) may induce the expression of several proteins, including neopterin, considered a biological marker of INFbeta activity.


The aim of this study was to determine the serum neopterin concentration at the beginning of, and during, IFNbeta-1a therapy in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (r-r MS) patients, and to look for a possible correlation between protein synthesis and the clinical course of the disease.


Thirteen r-r MS patients were treated with INFbeta-1a (i.m. 6 MIU/week) for 2 years.

Blood samples for neopterin determinations were taken daily over a period of 1 week at the end of each 6 months of therapy, and tested for neutralizing antibodies (NABs).


Neopterin levels peaked 24-48 h post-injection and returned to baseline after 120 h.

After 1 year of therapy, four patients dropped out of the study because of progression of the disease: in these subjects a significant decrement of neopterin was observed.


Neopterin baseline values were not found to decrease over the 2 years of therapy, and neopterin may be considered to be a useful marker of responsiveness to IFNbeta.