Decreases in serum high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterol resulting from naturally produced and recombinant DNA-derived leukocyte interferons

Russell M. Dixon, Ernest C. Borden, Nancy L. Keim, Susan Anderson, Terry L. Spennetta, Douglas C. Tormey, Earl Shrago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


A three-phase study was conducted to examine the effect of leukocyte interferon administration on serum high-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. In the initial phase, human leukocyte interferon decreased HDL cholesterol (P < 0.05) and total cholesterol (P < 0.05) levels in patients with breast carcinoma. Decreases began with initiation of the interferon administration, were sustained throughout the period of treatment, and increased toward pretreatment values with discontinuation of interferon. In the second phase of the study, in neither of two comparison groups of women receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy, excluding interferon, did any similar decrease in HDL cholesterol occur. In a third comparison group of women being treated for metastatic breast carcinoma, a predicted and significant (P < 0.01) drop in HDL cholesterol level without a concomitant lowering of total cholesterol level occurred immediately following the initiation of androgen therapy. To confirm that the observed cholesterol level decreases were associated with interferon rather than a contaminant thereof, analyses were also carried out on samples from a study utilizing interferon produced by recombinant DNA techniques and purified to homogeneity. A similar decrease in HDL cholesterol (P < 0.05) and total cholesterol (P < 0.01) was observed. A definite relationship therefore appears to exist between the administration of human leukocyte interferon and decreased plasma levels of HDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-404
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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