VLA-4 expression on peripheral blood lymphocytes is downregulated after treatment of multiple sclerosis with interferon beta

P. A. Calabresi, C. M. Pelfrey, L. R. Tranquill, H. Maloni, H. F. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Adhesion molecules are likely to play a critical role in the immunopathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). The interaction of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) with its lymphocyte ligand very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) may mediate migration of lymphocytes into the CNS. We have previously demonstrated that MS patients treated with interferon beta (IFN- β) have a significant increase in soluble VCAM-1 (sVCAM-1) soon after the initiation of treatment, and this effect correlated with the resolution of contrast-enhancing MRI lesions. We studied the cell surface expression of VLA-4 by flow cytometry in 10 MS patients before and during IFN-β treatment. We found a significant decrease in mean VLA-4 fluorescence of MS patients' lymphocytes on treatment and no change in untreated controls. In vitro treatment of lymphocytes with IFN-β did not reproduce this effect, but the addition of sVCAM-1 did result in a decrease in VLA-4 expression. These data indicate that the previously identified increase in sVCAM-1 may lead to a decrease in VLA-4 expression and that this effect may partially explain the mechanism of action of IFN-β.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1111-1116
Number of pages6
JournalNeurology
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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