The IFN pregnancy recognition hormone IFN-tau blocks both development and superantigen reactivation of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis without associated toxicity.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating autoimmune disease if the central nervous system (CNS). Recently, the type I IFN, IFN-beta-1b was demonstrated to be a useful immunotherapy for MS. During treatment with IFN-beta-1b, toxicity at higher doses has been observed. IFN-tau, discovered for its role in the reproductive cycle, possesses all of the functions normally ascribed to the type I IFNs but lacks the toxicity normally associate with IFN treatment in vitro. We have examined the effects of IFN-tau treatment on experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model useful for the study of MS. EAE is a model of Ag-induced autoimmunity that can be modulated by bacterial superantigen to resemble the relapsing-remitting pattern of autoimmune disease observed in MS. IFN-tau was able to prevent development of EAE as effectively as IFN-beta but without associated toxicity such as lymphocyte suppression and weight loss. In addition, IFN-tau was able to prevent superantigen reactivation of EAE akin to the reduction in disease exacerbations observed in IFN-beta-1b treated MS patients. Mechanisms by which IFN-tau may prevent EAE include reduced proliferation in response to the autoantigen myelin basic protein and reduced TNF-alpha production. Thus, IFN-tau may prove to be a promising new IFN therapy for MS in light of its ability to prevent EAE and the lack of toxicity exhibited by this novel IFN.
Soos, JM; Subramaniam, PS; Hobeika, AC; Schiffenbauer, J; Johnson, HM
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