Longitudinal assessment of immuno-metabolic parameters in multiple sclerosis patients during treatment with Copaxone (glatiramer acetate)
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We investigated the effect of glatiramer acetate (GA) on the modulation of immune cell subpopulations and serum levels of multiple immune/metabolic markers in patients with relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) to understand whether the treatment with GA could induce a specific change in the immunometabolic asset of patients with RRMS.
Material and methods:
We performed an extensive peripheral blood immunophenotyping and measured serum levels of several parameters involved in the pathogenesis of RRMS and also relevant in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome and obesity such as leptin, soluble leptin-receptor (sLep-R), myeloperoxidase (MPO), soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40-L), soluble tumor necrosis factor-receptor (sTNF-R), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), soluble Inter-Cellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (sICAM-1) and osteoprotegerin (OPG), in 20 naïve-to-treatment RRMS patients and 20 healthy controls. We repeated these analyses over time at 6 and 12 months after starting GA treatment.
Our analysis showed that naïve-to-treatment RRMS patients had a lower number of CD16+CD56+ NK cells, CD19+ B cells, CD4+ T cells co-expressing the MHC class II activation marker HLA-DR (CD4+DR+) and naïve CD4+CD45RA+ T cells in basal conditions. GA treatment induced a specific and significant decrease of circulating CD19+ B cells. Naïve-to-treatment RRMS patients also showed a significantly higher number of CD4+ T cells with a memory phenotype (CD4+CD45RO+) whose peripheral frequency was not affected by GA treatment. These changes over time associated with a higher serum concentration of leptin and lower levels of MPO. GA treatment also reduced significantly the circulating levels of sCD40-L and sTNF-R overtime.
Our data suggest that the clinical outcome of GA treatment is associated with changes in immune cell subpopulations and modulation of specific immunometabolic markers. These data add substantial evidence of the immune modulating effect of GA during RRMS and could be of relevance in understanding the pathogenesis of disease and its follow-up.
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