RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
Interferon-alpha affects the immune response in post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder.
Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and characterized by fever, lymphadenopathy, and graft dysfunction. We describe the clinical course of an EBV seronegative 11-yr-old boy who underwent double lung transplantation and subsequently developed PTLD in the graft. A reduction in immunosuppression and the addition of acyclovir did not result in improvement. Treatment with interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha), however, led to dramatic clinical, radiographic, and histologic improvement. Semiquantitative measurements of cytokine mRNA in his bronchoalveolar lavage cells prior to therapy with IFN-alpha revealed high levels of IL-4 and IL-10 mRNA, which decreased significantly with treatment. We speculate that the beneficial effect of IFN-alpha in the treatment of PTLD is directly related to the inhibition of type 2 helper (Th2-like) T-cells.
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