Endocrine and neurological adverse effects of the therapeutic interferons

Toxicology. 2000 Jan 17;142(3):161-72. doi: 10.1016/s0300-483x(99)00141-9.


There is experimental evidence that the nervous central and the neuroendocrine systems can influence the immune system, which can in turn influence the brain activity. Endogenous cytokines are known to play a critical role in the pathophysiology of many diseases. The recently acquired experience on the adverse effects of therapeutic cytokines, particularly neurological and endocrine adverse effects, are further illustrative of these interferences. Interferons-alpha have been used in thousands of patients, so that the information accumulated with this group of closely related products is essential to delineate the potential and severity for non-immunological, but largely immune-mediated adverse effects to develop in patients treated with immuno-activating agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / adverse effects
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Interferon-alpha / toxicity
  • Interferons / adverse effects*
  • Interferons / therapeutic use*
  • Interferons / toxicity
  • Neurosecretory Systems / drug effects*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / immunology


  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interferons