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J Neuroimmunol. 2004 Mar;148(1-2):63-73.

Induction of IL-10 in rat peritoneal macrophages and dendritic cells by glatiramer acetate.

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Klinische Forschungsgruppe für Multiple Sklerose an der Neurologischen Klinik, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany.


Glatiramer acetate (GLAT) is a mixture of basic polypeptides that have been shown to suppress experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). As Copaxone, GLAT is approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Different immunomechanisms have been suggested to contribute to the beneficial effects of GLAT which rely on blockade of MHC class II molecules or cross-recognition with myelin basic protein (MBP). Because GLAT could also inhibit experimental autoimmunity not related to myelin proteins, we searched for additional, less-restricted immunomodulatory actions of GLAT. Using freshly isolated resident peritoneal macrophages from naive Lewis rats, it is shown that GLAT profoundly modulates cytokine secretion of the cells. In unseparated macrophages (MPhi) and MPhi of low density, GLAT enhanced constitutive and LPS-induced production of interleukin 10 (IL-10) while LPS-induced synthesis of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) was dose-dependently suppressed by GLAT. Although both basic proteins GLAT and MBP facilitated adherence of MPhi, MBP had opposite effects on cytokine production suggesting unique properties of GLAT. In contrast to MPhi, peritoneal mast cells produced only little amounts of cytokines. The inductive effect of GLAT on IL-10 production by antigen-presenting cells was also observed in bone marrow-derived rat dendritic cells (DCs) which, unlike MPhi, were not suppressed in their production of TNF-alpha. Induction of IL-10 in different antigen-presenting cells is a new immunomodulatory mechanism of GLAT. In part, it goes along with the inhibition of TNF-alpha and may be a common basis for the known beneficial effects of GLAT on various cellular autoimmune responses including MS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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