Potential role of type i interferons in the treatment of pituitary adenomas

Giovanni Vitale, Michele Caraglia, Peter M. Van Koetsveld, Paola Maroni, Monica Marra, Annamaria Colao, Steven W J Lamberts, Francesco Cavagnini, Leo J. Hofland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cytokines, particularly those endowed with pro-inflammatory properties, are known to influence the release of anterior pituitary hormones by a direct and indirect action at the level of pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Type I interferons (IFNs) represent a group of cytokines that act through a common receptor composed by two chains (IFNAR-1 and IFNAR-2). Several in vitro and in vivo studies underline the fact that type I IFNs are involved in the regulation of the immune-endocrine circuitry. Treatment with type I IFNs of patients affected by chronic viral hepatitis, multiple sclerosis and tumors influences the secretion of pituitary hormones. This article reviews the current knowledge about the effects of IFN-α and IFN-β on hypothalamic-pituitary function and describes the potential role of type I IFNs in the treatment of pituitary adenomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalReviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • ACTH
  • GH
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary function
  • Pituitary adenomas
  • Type I interferons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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