Interferon-beta fails to protect in a model of transient focal stroke.
Stroke 2006 Apr;37: 1116-9
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Compelling evidence supporting the role of inflammation in the development of cerebral infarction has focused attention on the potential of antiinflammatory treatment strategies for stroke. Interferon (IFN)-beta, an immunomodulatory agent approved for treatment of multiple sclerosis, is being evaluated in a phase I clinical trial in acute ischemic stroke. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of wild-type rat IFN-beta and its pegylated counterpart (PEG-IFN-beta) in a model of focal ischemia and reperfusion.
METHODS: After 60 minutes of middle cerebral artery occlusion, rats (n=12/group) were treated with IV tail injections of 8 or 16 mug of IFN-beta in 300 muL of PBS once daily for 3 or 7 days or with IV or SC injections of PEG-IFN-beta for 1 day. The animals were assessed daily for weight and for neurological findings. Additional animals underwent complete hematology and chemistry profiles, as well as complete multiorgan necropsy studies. All of the brain tissue was evaluated for assessment of infarct areas, neutrophil infiltration, and presence of hemorrhagic transformations.
RESULTS: IFN-beta and PEG-IFN-beta failed to protect against experimental ischemic brain injury as assessed by histopathology and neurological outcome. Furthermore, IFN-beta treatment was associated with significant weight loss and alterations in hematology and chemistry profiles.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that additional preclinical studies are warranted.