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More MS news articles for November 2002

Baseline T cell reactivity in multiple sclerosis is correlated to efficacy of interferon-b

Journal of Neuroimmunology, Vol. 133 (1-2) (2002) pp. 217-224
J. Killestein a, R.Q. Hintzen b, B.M.J. Uitdehaag a,c, P.A. Baars d, M.T. Roos d, R.A.W. van Lier d and C.H. Polman a
a Department of Neurology, VU Medical Center, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
b Department of Neurology, EMCR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
c Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
d Department of Immunobiology, CLB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Received 12 June 2002; received in revised form 22 August 2002; accepted 10 October 2002


Measuring proliferative responses of T lymphocytes is a simple, reproducible and widely used assay of immune competence. Evidence suggests a role of T cell reactivity in autoimmune diseases. Interferon (IFN)-b blocks in vitro proliferation of human T cells.


To assess
(i) the relation between T cell proliferation and disease characteristics of MS patients,
(ii) differences in T cell proliferation between subgroups and HC, and
(iii) the predictive value of T cell proliferation for efficacy of IFN-b.


Proliferative responses were measured in phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), anti-CD2/CD28 and anti-CD3 stimulated whole blood of 189 MS patients and 249 healthy controls (HC). Forty-eight patients started treatment with IFN-b. Based on EDSS progression, number of relapses and steroid interventions, patients were classified as either clinical responder or nonresponder to IFN-b.


Significant differences between MS subgroups and HC were found in T cell responses upon both PHA stimulation (RR>HC: p=0.001 and SP>HC: p=0.001) and CD2/CD28 stimulation (RR>HC, SP>HC and PP>HC: all p values <0.001). No significant differences were found between the MS subgroups. A probability of 88% (95% CI, 71-95%) for a favorable response to IFN-b was found with increased baseline proliferative T cell responses to PHA; a probability of only 16% (95% CI, 7-33%) with decreased values.


Our results suggest that the level of T cell proliferation in whole blood predicts efficacy of IFN-b in MS.

© Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science