Glatiramer acetate (GA) therapy of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) represents a unique setting in which in vivo Th2 deviation of T cells is consistently observed and associated with clinical benefit in a human autoimmune disease. We postulated that APCs are important targets of GA therapy and demonstrate that treatment of MS patients with GA reciprocally regulates the IL-10/IL-12 cytoldne network of monocytes in vivo. We further show that Th1- or Th2-polarized GA-reactive T cells isolated from untreated or treated MS patients mediate type 1 and 2 APC differentiation of human monocytes, based on their ability to efficiently induce subsequent Th1 and Th2 deviation of naive T cells, respectively. These observations are extended to human microglia, providing the first demonstration of type 2 differentiation of CNS-derived APCs. Finally, we confirm that the fundamental capacity of polarized T cells to reciprocally modulate APC function is not restricted to GA-reactive T cells, thereby defining a novel and dynamic positive feedback loop between human T cell and APC responses. In the context of MS, we propose that GA therapy results in the generation of type 2 APCs, contributing to Th2 deviation both in the periphery and in the CNS of MS patients. In addition to extending insights into the therapeutic mode of action of GA, our findings revisit the concept of bystander suppression and underscore the potential of APCs as attractive targets for therapeutic immune modulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy