Sustained immunological effects of Glatiramer acetate in patients with multiple sclerosis treated for over 6 years

M. Chen, K. Conway, K. P. Johnson, R. Martin, S. Dhib-Jalbut

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43 Scopus citations


The availability of a group of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients at the University of Maryland, who had participated in the pivotal Copaxone® trial in the early 1990s, provided an opportunity to examine the long-term immunologic effects of Glatiramer acetate (GA) treatment in MS. Forty-eight GA-reactive T-cell lines (TCL) were generated from 10 MS patients who have been receiving GA treatment for 6-9 years. Proliferative responses, cytokine production, and cross-reactivity with myelin basic protein (MBP) and the MBP immunodominant peptide 83-99 were compared to responses obtained from 10 MS patients who were tested pretreatment and after a shorter period of treatment ranging from 1 to 10 months. The results indicate that while long-term treatment with GA results in a 2.9-fold decrease in the estimated precursor frequency of GA-reactive T-cells, the sustained response to GA remains Th2-biased and in part cross-reactive with MBP and MBP (83-99) as measured by proliferation and cytokine release assays. The results indicate that despite a drop in the precursor frequency of GA-reactive T-cells with long-term treatment, the sustained response remains predominantly Th2-biased and cross-reactive with MBP, which is consistent with the anti-inflammatory effects of the drug and bystander suppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 15 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Copaxone®
  • Glatiramer acetate
  • Immune deviation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Multiple sclerosis

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