Immunogenicity of recombinant human interferon beta interacting with particles of glass, metal, and polystyrene

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Pharm Sci, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp. 187-199 (2012)


1520-6017 (Electronic)00

DOI Name (links to online publication)



Aggregates play a major role in the immunogenicity of recombinant human interferon beta (rhIFNbeta), a protein used to treat multiple sclerosis. A possible cause of aggregation is interaction between therapeutic protein and surfaces encountered during processing, storage, and administration. Moreover, proteins may adsorb to particles shed from these surfaces. In this work, we studied the immunogenicity of recombinant human interferon beta-1a (rhIFNbeta-1a) interacting with glass microparticles, stainless steel microparticles, and polystyrene nanoparticles. At physiological pH, rhIFNbeta-1a readily adsorbed to the particles, while the degree of adsorption was influenced by the ionic strength of the phosphate buffer. Front-face fluorescence showed that the tertiary structure of rhIFNbeta-1a slightly changed upon adsorption to glass. The interaction with stainless steel microparticles resulted in increased levels of aggregates in the free protein fraction. Furthermore, protein adsorbed to stainless steel microparticles was more difficult to desorb than protein adsorbed to glass. Incubation with stainless steel considerably enhanced the immunogenicity of rhIFNbeta-1a in transgenic mice immune tolerant for human interferon beta. The protein fraction adsorbed on stainless steel particles was responsible for this. In conclusion, rhIFNbeta-1a adsorbs to common hydrophilic surface materials, possibly increasing the immunogenicity of the protein. (c) 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association J Pharm Sci.