Multiple Sclerosis, 1 February 2003, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 28-31(4)
Salama H.H.; Kolar O.J.; Zang Y.C.; Zhang J.
 Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology, Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA and Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansura University, Mansura, Egypt  Indiana Center for Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunopathologic Disorders, Indianapolis, IN 48260, USA  Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology, Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA and Department of Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Beta-interferon (beta-IFN) has a proven treatment effect on relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), presumably through its regulatory properties on T-cell activation and cytokine production.
This paper examines whether combination therapy of beta-IFN with prednisone would enhance immunoregulatory effects of beta-IFN by measuring serum levels of selected proinflammatory cytokines and soluble T-cell activation markers associated with MS.
The selected markers were analyzed in MS patients treated with beta-IFN alone (n = 22) and beta-IFN combined with a low daily dose of prednisone (n =33), as compared with those in 27 healthy controls at baseline and at a three-month interval for one year.
The study confirmed that beta-IFN treatment inhibited serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFa) and intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (IC AM-1) in patients with MS.
However, combination therapy did not significantly enhance the inhibitory effect of beta-IFN treatment on the production of TNF, interleukin (IL)-12, IL-2R, and ICAM-1, while the addition of prednisone antagonized the effect of beta-IFN on up-regulation of IL-10 and soluble CD95.
No difference in the occurrence of binding antibodies to beta-IFN was found between the two treatment groups.
The findings are important for the understanding of the role of combination therapy in the treatment of MS.