Recombinant Interferons beta and gamma have a higher antiviral activity than interferon-alpha in coxsackievirus B3-infected carrier state cultures of human myocardial fibroblasts

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1996 Apr;16(4):283-7. doi: 10.1089/jir.1996.16.283.


We compared the antiviral activities of three recombinant human interferons (IFN-alph2a, IFN-beta, and IFN-gamma) in cultured human myocardial fibroblasts to select a candidate for trial in heart disease induced by cardiotropic enterovirus, e.g., coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3). Cells were exposed to CVB3, and after 7 days, when a persistent infection had developed, IFN was added. Virus yields were measured on alternate days for the next 7 or 16 days, and IFN activity was assessed as the percentage reduction in yield. IFN-gamma and IFN-beta were both highly active and reduced virus yields by 2 log (EC(99)) at concentrations of 23.4 IU/ml (SD = 8.6) and 10.1 IU/ml (SD = 3.2), respectively; with 250 IU/ml of either IFN, no infectious virus was formed. Unexpectedly, IFN-alpha2a (EC(99)> 1250 IU/ml) was at least 120 times less active than IFN-beta; after use for 8 days or more, the minor effects it produced were no longer related to the concentration applied. Despite the pharmacokinetic advantages of IFN-alpha2a, our data suggest that IFN-beta should in preference be evaluated in the clinic.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carrier State*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coxsackievirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Enterovirus B, Human / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / virology
  • Heart / drug effects*
  • Heart / virology
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use
  • Interferon-gamma / therapeutic use
  • Interferons / therapeutic use*
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interferon-beta
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Interferons