Department of Neurology, Danish Multiple Sclerosis Research Center, Copenhagen
University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark;
Treatment with interferon-beta (IFN-beta) induces the expression of hundreds of genes in blood mononuclear cells, and the expression of several genes has been proposed as a marker of the effect of treatment with IFN-beta. However, to date no molecules have been identified that are stably induced by treatment with IFN-beta. We use DNA microarrays to study gene expression in 10 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who began de novo treatment with IFN-beta. After the first injection of IFN-beta, the expression of 74 out of 3428 genes changed at least two-fold and statistically significantly (after Bonferroni correction). In contrast, we observed no persisting effects of IFN-beta on gene expression. Among the most strongly induced genes was MXA, which has been used in previous biomarker studies in MS. In addition, the study identified the induction of LGALS9 and TCIR1G, involved in negative regulation of T helper type I immunity and T-cell activation, as novel effects of IFN-beta therapy in MS.