Systemic disorders with rheumatic manifestationsSyndromes and complications of interferon therapyBorg, Frances AY; Isenberg, David A Author Information Department of Rheumatology, University College London Hospital, UK Correspondence to Dr Frances Borg, Department of Rheumatology, University College Hospital, 3rd Floor, 250 Euston Road, London NW1 2PQ, UK Tel: +44 207 380 9230; fax: +44 207 380 9278; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Rheumatology: January 2007 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p 61-66 doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e328010c547 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Interferons are used to treat a variety of medical conditions. They are integral players in immunity and a number of immune-mediated complications can arise during interferon therapy. We have reviewed the occurrence of these complications, and the mechanisms behind them. Recent findings Case reports and follow-up studies of large cohorts of patients on interferon therapy have confirmed that immune-mediated complications are uncommon but can occur in a number of different organ systems. IFNα production is induced by specific autoantibody–nuclear antigen immune complexes, and has a key role in the development and maintenance of autoimmunity in systemic lupus erythematosus. Summary Interferon therapy can precipitate immune-mediated abnormalities de novo or can exacerbate an existing autoimmune tendency. This is manifest in the rise in titre of existing antibodies and in the development of clinical disease in patients with preexisting antibodies. Type I interferons have a key role in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.