Medical College of Wisconsin
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Ingested Type I Interferon-State of the Art as Treatment for Autoimmunity Part 2. Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2010 Apr 14;3(4):1108-1121



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2-s2.0-77952134650   2 Citations


We have proposed a unifying hypothesis of the etiopathogenesis of autoimmunity that defines autoimmunity as a type I interferon (IFN) immunodeficiency syndrome. We have examined toxicity and potential efficacy in two phase I (type 1 diabetes [T1D], multiple sclerosis [MS]) and phase II clinical trials in T1D and MS. In a phase I open label trial in T1D, ingested IFN-alpha preserved residual beta-cell function in recent onset patients. In a second phase I trial in MS, there was a significant decrease in peripheral blood mononuclear cell IL-2 and IFN-gamma production after ingesting IFN-alpha. In a phase II randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in MS, 10,000 IU ingested IFN-alpha significantly decreased gadolinium enhancements compared to the placebo group at month 5. TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma cytokine secretion in the 10,000 IU group at month 5 showed a significant decrease that corresponded with the effect of ingested IFN-alpha on decreasing gadolinium enhancements. In a phase II randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in T1D, patients in the 5,000 unit hrIFN-alpha treatment group maintained more beta-cell function one year after study enrollment compared to individuals in the placebo group. Ingested IFN-alpha was not toxic in these clinical trials. These studies suggest that ingested IFN-alpha may have a potential role in the treatment of autoimmunity.

Author List

Brod SA


Staley A. Brod MD Professor in the Neurology department at Medical College of Wisconsin