Systemic IFN-beta treatment induces apoptosis of peripheral immune cells in MS patients.

Institute of Neuroimmunology, Neuroscience Research Center, Humboldt-University, NWFZ 2680, Charité, 10098 Berlin, Germany.
Journal of Neuroimmunology (Impact Factor: 3.03). 05/2003; 137(1-2):187-96. DOI: 10.1016/S0165-5728(03)00074-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In multiple sclerosis (MS), an impaired apoptotic deletion of activated CNS-specific immune cells, leading to their pathogenic persistence, has been suggested to maintain chronic brain inflammation. We here investigated whether interferon-beta (IFN-beta) therapy induces apoptosis of peripheral immune cells. Serial blood samples from 127 relapsing-remitting MS patients were analyzed prior to the initiation of a weekly IFN-beta 1a therapy and 4, 26, and 52 weeks thereafter. Peripheral immune cells were investigated for apoptosis and for the expression of apoptosis-regulatory genes CD95, CD95 ligand, FLIP, Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), Bag-1, and caspase 3 by quantitative real-time PCR. Biological efficacy of IFN-beta treatment was checked by quantification of Mx expression (ELISA and real-time PCR). We found a significant increase in the apoptosis rate of immune cells in response to IFN-beta treatment, compared to baseline levels. While Bcl-2 levels were permanently and Bag-1 levels transiently elevated upon therapy, other apoptosis-regulatory genes revealed no alterations. Upregulation of Mx expression confirmed the activity of IFN-beta in vivo. These findings indicate that immunomodulatory IFN-beta therapy involves the induction of apoptotic cell death with the observed RNA upregulation of Bcl-2 family members rather reflecting a possible compensatory mechanism. The increased apoptosis susceptibility of peripheral immune cells may contribute to the known reduction of brain inflammatory lesions during IFN-beta treatment.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis is a clinically heterogeneous autoimmune disease leading to severe neurological disability. Although during the last years many disease-modifying agents as treatment options for multiple sclerosis have been made available, their mechanisms of action are still not fully determined. In the present study radiosensitivity in lymphocytes of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and healthy controls was investigated. Whole blood cultures from multiple sclerosis patients and healthy controls were used to analyse the spontaneous and radiation-induced micronuclei in binucleated lymphocytes. A subgroup of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis was treated with immunomodulatory agents, interferon β or glatiramer acetate. The secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients group was not receiving any treatment. Our results reveal that the basal DNA damage was not different between relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients, and healthy controls. No differences between gamma-irradiation induced micronuclei frequencies in binucleated cells from relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients, and healthy controls were found either. Nevertheless, when we compared the radiation induced DNA damage in binucleated cells from healthy individuals with the whole group of patients, a reduction in the frequency of micronuclei was obtained in the patients group. Induced micronuclei yield was significantly lower in the irradiated samples from treated relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients than in healthy controls and relapsing-remitting not treated patients. Intrinsic sensitivity of lymphocytes subpopulations to the apoptotic effect of immunomodulatory treatment could be responsible for this result.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 08/2013; · 3.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The tight junction proteins (TJPs) are major determinants of endothelial cells comprising physiological vascular barriers such as the blood-brain barrier, but little is known about their expression and role in immune cells. In this study we assessed TJP expression in human leukocyte subsets, their induction by immune activation and modulation associated with autoimmune disease states and therapies. A consistent expression of TJP complexes was detected in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs), predominantly in B and T lymphocytes and monocytes, whereas the in vitro application of various immune cell activators led to an increase of claudin 1 levels, yet not of claudin 5. Claudins 1 and 5 levels were elevated in PBLs of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in relapse, relative to patients in remission, healthy controls and patients with other neurological disorders. Interestingly, claudin 1 protein levels were elevated also in PBLs of patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Following glucocorticoid treatment of MS patients in relapse, RNA levels of JAM3 and CLDN5 and claudin 5 protein levels in PBLs decreased. Furthermore, a correlation between CLDN5 pre-treatment levels and clinical response phenotype to interferon-β therapy was detected. Our findings indicate that higher levels of leukocyte claudins are associated with immune activation and specifically, increased levels of claudin 5 are associated with MS disease activity. This study highlights a potential role of leukocyte TJPs in physiological states, and autoimmunity and suggests they should be further evaluated as biomarkers for aberrant immune activity and response to therapy in immune-mediated diseases such as MS.
    Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 07/2011; 16(4):765-75. · 4.75 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The release of newly produced B and T lymphocytes from the production sites was analyzed in 30 multiple sclerosis patients treated with interferon-beta by measuring T-cell receptor excision circles and k-deleting recombination excision circles. We found that the therapy induces opposite effects on B- and T-cell mobilization in 33% of patients. New B-cell production, which peaks after 6 months of therapy and then decreases to levels that, however, are still higher than in controls, may cause a renewal of the B-cell compartment. On the contrary, the decreased number of newly produced T lymphocytes observed at 12 months of treatment and the association between reduced thymic output and low peripheral T lymphocytes can be a cause of leukopenia, a frequent side effect of the therapy.
    Journal of neuroimmunology 11/2011; 240-241:147-50. · 2.84 Impact Factor