Neuroendocrine effects of interferon alpha 2-a in healthy human subjects

A. Pende, N. R. Musso, C. Vergassola, F. Puppo, A. Ioverno, D. Criscuolo, F. Indiveri, G. Lotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The acute effects of interferon alpha-2a (3 x 10 IU im) on catecholamine and immunoreactive beta endorphin plasma levels, cortisol serum levels and lymphocyte beta2-adrenoceptor density were evaluated in ten healthy volunteers. Interferon induced a significant increase in plasma norepinephrine; there was an increased norepinephrine standing response, too. On the contrary, epinephrine standing response was reduced by interferon. Lymphocyte beta2-adrenoceptors decreased significantly after interferon administration; dissociation constant of binding was unchanged. Cortisol serum levels increased significantly with respect to control test, whereas immunoreactive beta endorphin did not change. These results support the hypothesis of functional relationships between neuroendocrine and immune systems; moreover they may be useful in clinical trials given the administration of interferon alpha in an increasing number of diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)


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