Immune Molecule May Reduce Severity of Multiple Sclerosis

A team of scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have looked into the expression of an immune molecule that interacts with myelin producing cells in the body. The said immune molecule, also called CXCL 1, shows to play a role in decreasing the severity of a type of multiple sclerosis found in mice.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system, more particularly the myelin, the insulating material of the neurons.

In people with MS, researchers have found a severe depletion of myelin producing cells in the lesions due to the said disease. Demyelination in the neurons results in the various symptoms associated with the disease such as muscle weakness, loss of body control and coordination, numbness and pain.

The team from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, led by Dr. Cedric Raine, has been looking into how myelin producing cells express immune receptors that respond to the immune molecule CXCL 1, the role of which has not yet been previously explored with regards to the disease.

The team the followed the effects that CXCL 1 had on a mouse model of multiple sclerosis and the possible role it played on the said disease.

The team observed that there is a seemingly decreased severity of the disease in the mouse model. The mouse model also showed more prominent remyelination that has helped reduce the severity of the disease.

The observation showed how CXCL 1 may play a neuroprotective role in an autoimmune demyelination in the central nervous system as associated with diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

The findings may provide new pathways from which researchers may discover other therapeutic ways in which to enhance the limited remyelination usually seen in some autoimmune diseases such as MS.

Source:  American Journal of Pathology. "Immune Molecule Decreases Severity Of Multiple Sclerosis-like Disease In Mice." ScienceDaily 4 January 2009. 6 January 2009.

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