More MS news articles for May 2002

The role of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders

Neurol Sci 2002 Apr;23(Supplement 1):S1-8
Emmi L, Chiarini F.
Regional Referral Center for Sistemic Autoimmune Diseases, Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy.

The first use of immunoglobulin therapy, historically, was in 1890 when Emil von Behring developed effective antiserium against diphtheria toxin, but only in the early 1970s technological advancements in the fractionation of plasma lead to the production of Ig preparations which could be administered intravenously.

Intravenous Ig products are a mainstay for disorders such as: primary immunodeficiency, serious infections, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.

During autoimmune and systemic inflammatory disease IVIg exhibits a number of immune modulatory activities such as: Fc Receptor-mediated effects, modulation of complement, modulation of cytokine production, superantigens neutralization, antibodies neutralization by idiotype network, increased catabolism of IgG, but also biologic effects of other molecules present in IVIg preparations.

Recent understanding about IVIg composition and mechanism of action can explain its therapeutic effect in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.

Nevertheless it is important to underline that IVIg is a heterogeneous product and it is difficult to determine the exact mechanism of its activities in every disease.

The increased use of IVIg in the treatment of autoimmune disorders outlined the issue of tolerability.

Undesiderable effects to IVIg occurs in less than 5% of patients.