To investigate the cellular immune effects of the interferon inducer, Poly ICLC, in humans, peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with multiple sclerosis receiving Poly ICLC as part of a preliminary clinical trial were studied. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell phenotype analysis using fluoresceinated monoclonal antibodies and flow microfluorometry showed decreases in the percentages and absolute numbers of all lymphocyte subsets 24 h after infusion. These changes returned toward baseline at 48 h except the percentage of CD-4 positive cell which increased above baseline levels. The percentage of HLA-DR antigen positive cells and CD-16 (Leu 11a) positive cells were increased 24 h after infusion but returned to baseline at 48 h. NK activity as determined by chromium release from K562 target cells was decreased at 24 h but increased 48 h after drug infusion. The increases in percentages of HLA-DR antigen and CD-16 positive cells at 24 h and NK activity at 48 h are consistent with the in vitro effects of IFN while the decreases in peripheral blood mononuclear cells are suggestive of changes in cell recirculation.
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