The Strategies Used for Treatment of Experimental Autoimmune Neuritis (EAN): A Beneficial Effect of Glatiramer Acetate Administered Intraperitoneally
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Glatiramer acetate (GA) significantly ameliorates multiple sclerosis and was initially discovered through its effects on the animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a relatively common demyelinating disease of peripheral nerves for which there is a parallel animal model, experimental autoimmune neuritis (EAN). We review the treatments found useful in EAN with special emphasis on the need for quick onset of action and the relevance of treatments used for EAE and multiple sclerosis. We evaluated the effect of GA administered by a novel intraperitoneal route in EAN. GA significantly ameliorated the severity of disease in rats (F = 6.3, p = 0.01 by analysis of variance (ANOVA)) and course of disease (F = 4.9, p = 0.02 by repeated-measures ANOVA with a day × treatment interaction term). Neurophysiology data supported the trend for the beneficial effect of GA. Myelin-induced immune cell proliferation was significantly modulated by GA (p < 0.025). This report describes a novel route of administration of GA and a rapid beneficial effect of GA in EAN. GA may be useful in human diseases, such as GBS, where the intravenous route may offer a rapid onset of drug action.