Saturday, May 10, 2008

Interferon beta-1a and Chinese hamsters

Because of Multiple Sclerosis, I have a very active immune system. Taking interferons change the behavior of the immune system by reducing the number of T-cells which are transported from the blood stream to the Central Nervous System (CNS) which reduces the number of inflammatory T-cells (TH-1) while at the same time allowing the TH-2 cells which reduce inflammation to dominate the central nervous system. Interferon beta-1a is identical to the naturally occurring protein found in the human body. This kind of interferon is manufactured by extracting the drug from Chinese hamster ovary cells which I take Biogen's Avonex which is a 30 mcg of interferon beta-1a which is injected once weekly and the most common side effects (for me) are the flu like symptoms. Avonex is manufactured by Biogen that will help modify the course of multiple sclerosis.

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