Archives of Virology

, Volume 163, Issue 5, pp 1279–1284 | Cite as

Immunoregulation of Theiler’s virus-induced demyelinating disease by glatiramer acetate without suppression of antiviral immune responses

  • Seiichi Omura
  • Fumitaka Sato
  • Nicholas E. Martinez
  • Tierra Range
  • Lesya Ekshyyan
  • Alireza Minagar
  • J. Steven Alexander
  • Ikuo Tsunoda
Brief Report


While most disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) regulate multiple sclerosis (MS) by suppressing inflammation, they can potentially suppress antiviral immunity, causing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The DMD glatiramer acetate (GA) has been used for MS patients who are at high risk of PML. We investigated whether GA is safe for use in viral infections by using a model of MS induced by infection with Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV). Treatment of TMEV-infected mice with GA neither enhanced viral loads nor suppressed antiviral immune responses, while it resulted in an increase in the Foxp3/Il17a ratio and IL-4/IL-10 production. This is the first study to suggest that GA could be safe for MS patients with a proven viral infection.



We thank Dr. Viromi Fernando and Dr. Eiichiro Kawai for their helpful discussions, and Ms. Sadie Faith Pearson and Ms. Elaine Cliburn Stewart for their excellent technical assistance.


This work was funded by the Teva Neuroscience Investigator-Initiated Program (TNSCOP0049), IDeA from the National Institute of General Medical Science of the NIH (5P30GM110703), KAKENHI from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JP17K15628 and JP16H07356), Science Research Promotion Fund from the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan, and Kindai University Research Enhancement Grant.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The decision to publish this article was solely the responsibility of the authors. All statements, opinions, and content presented in this article are those of the authors and do not represent the opinions of Teva. Teva provided a medical accuracy review of the article.

Ethical approval

All experimental procedures involving the use of animals were conducted according to the criteria outlined by the NIH and were approved by the IACUC of Louisiana State University.

Supplementary material

705_2018_3729_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 2044 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyLouisiana State University Health Sciences Center-ShreveportShreveportUSA
  2. 2.Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-ShreveportShreveportUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyLouisiana State University Health Sciences Center-ShreveportShreveportUSA
  4. 4.Department of Molecular and Cellular PhysiologyLouisiana State University Health Sciences Center-ShreveportShreveportUSA
  5. 5.Department of MicrobiologyKindai University Faculty of MedicineOsakasayamaJapan

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