Author(s): Chen M, Gran B, Costello K, Johnson K, Martin R,
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Abstract Glatiromer acetate (GA) is an approved treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). The proposed mechanism of action is the induction of GA-specific T cells characterized by protective anti-inflammatory Th2 response. We tested this hypothesis in 11 MS patients treated with GA from 1-19 months. Interferon-gamma and IL-5 (markers of Th1 and Th2 responses respectively) were assayed by ELISA in GA-specific T-cell lines (TCL) supernatants. Th1/Th2 bias was defined based on the ratio of IFN-gamma/IL-5 secretion. Fifty-eight pre-treatment and 75 on-treatment GA-specific TCL were generated. On-treatment mean IL-5 levels in GA-TCL increased significantly, whereas those for IFN-gamma were markedly reduced. Consequently, the ratio of IFN-gamma IL-5 also shifted in favor of a Th2 response. The percentage of GA-TCL classified as Th1 was decreased, whereas those classified as Th2 increased on-treatment as compared to pre-treatment. Some GA-specific TCL, (approximately 25\%) generated during treatment secreted predominantly IL-5 in response to MBP and the immunodominant MBP peptide 83-99, indicating that these crossreactive antigens can act as partial agonists for GA-reactive TCL. These results strongly suggest that the mechanism of action of GA in MS involves the induction of crossreactive GA-specific T cells with a predominant Th2 cytokine profile.
This article was published in Mult Scler
and referenced in Neurochemistry & Neuropharmacology