Gbadamosi J, Buhmann C, Tessmer W, Moench A, Haag F, Heesen C.

We designed this longitudinal study to clarify the short- and long-term effects of mitoxantrone on the immune system in a subgroup of multiple sclerosis patients treated at our centre. After 14 days we found a highly significant sustained reduction of leucocytes, primarily affecting neutrophils and most lymphocyte subsets except for naive and activated T lymphocytes. The CD4/CD8 ratio and serum immmunoglobulin levels were not affected. Furthermore, whole blood-stimulated mononuclear cell IL-10 production showed a significant lower level 2 weeks treatment, whereas basal IL-10 as well as stimulated and basal TNF-alpha secretion showed no significant changes. Longitudinal data disclosed a persistent decrease of B lymphocytes, while secretion of immunoglobulins, IL-10, and TNF-alpha was not altered in the follow-up. In conclusion, we confirmed a selective short-term effect of mitoxantrone therapy on most lymphocyte subpopulations, but not on immunoglobulines or the pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-10, which do not serve as possible response markers.

Eur. Neurol. 2003;49:137-41.

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