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More MS news articles for October 2002

Acute interferon beta-1b administration alters hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, plasma cytokines and leukocyte distribution in healthy subjects

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2002 Nov;27(8):881
Goebel M, Baase J, Pithan V, Exton M, Saller B, Schedlowski M, Limmroth V.
Department of Medical Psychology, Medical Faculty, University of Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45122, Essen, Germany

It has been suggested that the immune-endocrine communication plays an important role in development and progression of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Interferon beta (IFNbeta-1b) treatment is the therapy of choice in patients suffering from relapsing remitting or secondary chronic progressive multiple sclerosis.

While typical adverse events of IFNbeta-1b treatment such as flu-like symptoms or fatigue are well studied, little is known about the acute changes in the immune and neuroendocrine system.

Therefore, we analyzed the short-term effects of IFNbeta-1b on cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, prolactin and growth hormone (GH) plasma levels before and 4, 8 and 24 h after IFNbeta-1b administration in healthy subjects.

Moreover, we determined heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, leukocyte and lymphocyte subsets and plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, IL-10 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha.

IFNbeta-1b led to an increase in body temperature and heart rate, and in parallel, elevated cortisol, prolactin and GH plasma levels at 4 and 8 h after IFNbeta-1b injection.

There were no significant alterations in blood pressure, norepinephrine or epinephrine plasma levels.

Simultaneously, IFNbeta-1b injection led to an immediate granulocytosis while concomitantly decreasing peripheral lymphocytes, especially natural killer (NK) cells.

At the same time, IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-alpha plasma levels showed an overall increase.

Overall, cytokine administration exerts strong stimulatory effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis that may contribute to the side effects of IFNbeta-1b therapy and affect the efficacy of IFNbeta-1b treatment.