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The mechanism of action of interferon beta‐1b in patients with multiple sclerosis is unknown. Interferon beta‐1b receptor binding induces the expression of proteins that are responsible for the pleiotropic bioactivities of interferon beta‐1b. A number of these proteins (including neopterin, B2‐microglobulin, MxA protein, and IL‐10) have been measured in blood fractions from Betaseron‐treated patients and Betaseron‐treated healthy volunteers. Immunomodulatory effects of interferon beta‐1b include enhancement of suppressor T cell activity, reduction of pro‐inflammatory cytokine production, down regulation of antigen presentation, and inhibition of lymphocyte trafficking into the central nervous system. It is not known if these effects play an important role in the observed clinical activity of Betaseron in MS.