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Reduced in vitro IgG secretion following in vivo injection of interferon (wellferon R) in multiple sclerosis patients O’Gorman, Maurice R. G.


An in vitro IgG secretion assay was developed to investigate the regulation of the humoral immune response in humans. Pokeweed mitogen (PWM), a plant lectin derived from Phytolacca americana stimulates human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) to divide and resting B-lymphocytes to differentiate into immunoglobulin secreting cells (ISC). This differentiation requires that both monocytes and T-lymphocytes be present in the culture system. The amount of IgG secreted by these differentiated B-lymphocytes in response to PWM appears to be the net result of a balance between the functional activity of the regulatory T-helper and T-suppressor cells. Alterations, qualitative or quantitative in any of these leukocyte subsets could conceivably alter the amount of IgG secreted by the B-lymphocyte subpopulation. We have employed this assay to investigate the immune status in a group of chronic progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and to assess the immunoregulatory effects of interferon (Wellferon R, INF) administered in vivo to this selected group. Their mononuclear cells (MNC) were studied in this PWM induced IgG secretion assay before INF treatment and again after 7 days of daily sub-cutaneous injections (5 X 10⁶ u/day). Twenty patients received the interferon (INF) preparation and eighteen received normal saline. The study was carried out in a double blind manner and the code was broken only after individual results had been calculated.

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