J Neuroimmunol. 2003 Nov;144(1-2):125-31
Putheti P, Soderstrom M, Link H, Huang YM.
Division of Neuroimmunology, NEUROTEC Department, Karolinska Institute, Alfred Nobels Alle 10, SE-141 83, Stockholm, Sweden
CD4(+)CD25(high) T regulatory (Tr) cells, representing high IL-2 receptor alpha chain expressing cells, have been shown to inhibit proliferation and cytokine secretion by CD4(+) T cells that are assumed to represent important effector cells in auto-aggressive immunity.
Tr cells may therefore be considered of importance in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Glatiramer acetate (GA; Copaxone) is approved as a disease-modulating agent that ameliorates the course of MS.
The goal of this study was to examine in vitro effects of GA on Tr cells from MS patients subgrouped according to treatment without or with disease-modulating drugs, and healthy controls (HC).
Three-colour flow cytometry was used to investigate in vitro influence of GA, and of the encephalitogenic myelin basic protein (MBP) peptide 83-89 as control, on the blood Tr cell proportion and on their functionally important cell surface molecules CD45RO, CD69, CD95 and HLA-DR, and on intracellular CTLA-4 and IL-10.
Irrespective of exposure to GA or MBP((83-99)), levels of blood Tr cells expressing HLA-DR remained low in untreated MS patients and HC compared to the three treated MS patient groups.
In vitro exposure to GA resulted in elevated levels of IL-10 producing Tr cells in all MS patient groups irrespective of receiving treatment as well as in HC.
Exposure to GA or MBP((83-99)) had no effects on levels of Tr cells expressing other above-mentioned molecules.
We conclude that GA induces elevated IL-10 production by Tr cells that is uniform and independent of ongoing MS treatment with IFN-beta or GA or IFN-beta+GA.