Monocytes P2X7 purinergic receptor is modulated by glatiramer acetate in multiple sclerosis

Mariantonietta Caragnano, Paola Tortorella, Alessandra Bergami, Maddalena Ruggieri, Paolo Livrea, Luigi Maria Specchio, Gianvito Martino, Maria Trojano, Roberto Furlan, Carlo Avolio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study is to investigate the expression of P2X7R, IL-1beta and the ATP activity modulating ecto-apyrase CD39 on peripheral blood monocytes of MS patients and to observe the possible effects of Glatiramer Acetate (GA) on such expression.Twelve RR treatment-free MS patients were selected and peripheral blood monocytes were obtained. The expression of P2X7R, IL-1beta and CD39 on monocytes was investigated by qrt-PCR. The in vitro effects of GA on the expression of monocytes stimulated with BzATP (a potent P2X7R agonist)-were evaluated. Ten healthy donors (HDs) were similarly studied. Finally, 5 MS patients were given GA therapy and the monocytes obtained before treatment, after 3 and 12. months of GA treatment were similarly investigated.No differences were found in P2X7R, IL-1beta and CD39 expression between patients and controls. In MS Bz-ATP stimulated monocytes, GA pre-conditioning clearly downregulated P2X7R (p = 0.003) but IL-1beta expression also showed a decreasing trend (p = 0.07). Conversely, CD39 showed an increasing trend (p = 0.07). Similar evidence was found in HDs. GA in vivo treatment induced a reduction in the expression that was clear for P2X7R and CD39 (p <0.05) but only not significant for IL-1beta after 12. months of treatment.Monocytes from both MS and control subjects express P2X7R, IL-1beta and CD39, and GA seems to interfere with such expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Glatiramer acetate
  • Monocytes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • P2X7 receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Neurology


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