Researchers identify potassium channel autoantibody in MS

If it's on your mind and it has to do with multiple sclerosis in any way, post it here.

Researchers identify potassium channel autoantibody in MS

Postby CVfactor » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:22 am

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120714/Researchers-identify-potassium-channel-as-an-autoantibody-target-in-MS.aspx
For the first time, scientists in Germany's multiple sclerosis competence network have been able to identify an antibody that bonds with the potassium channel KIR4.1. "We found this autoantibody in almost half of the MS patients in our study," explains Bernhard Hemmer, Professor of Neurology at the Klinikum rechts der Isar hospital at Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM). The biomarker was not present in healthy patients. The findings could therefore indicate that KIR4.1 is one of the targets of the autoimmune response in MS. Humans and animals without the KIR4.1 channel experience neurological failure and cannot coordinate their movements properly. Furthermore, their bodies do not create sufficient amounts of myelin , a layer of insulation that protects the nerve cells.

KIR4.1 is primarily present in the membrane of glial cells, which are responsible for controlling metabolism in the brain and forming myelin. The neurologists will now be conducting follow-up studies into how KIR4.1 antibodies influence the development of MS. This autoantibody is extremely rare in people with other neurological diseases, making it an important potential diagnostic marker for MS in the future. "This autoantibody could improve diagnosis of MS and help us differentiate it more clearly from other neurological diseases," continues Hemmer. This will also be the focus of further research.

Source: Technische Universitaet Muenchen
User avatar
CVfactor
Family Elder
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:00 pm

Advertisement

Re: Researchers identify potassium channel as an MS autoanti

Postby Sparky10 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:03 am

Ampyra is a potassium channel blocker, isn't it? Maybe I'm getting this backward but from what I'm reading here it seems Ampyra goes against this discovery.
Sparky10
Family Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:02 pm
Location: Iowa!

Re: Researchers identify potassium channel as an MS autoanti

Postby CVfactor » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:18 pm

Sparky10 wrote:Ampyra is a potassium channel blocker, isn't it? Maybe I'm getting this backward but from what I'm reading here it seems Ampyra goes against this discovery.


From the Ampyra website:
"How is AMPYRA thought to help? In MS, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the protective coating around nerve fibers, called myelin. When myelin is lost or damaged, potassium channels on the nerves open, and potassium leaks out. This can weaken or distort the messages being sent from the brain to the rest of the body, and in some people, this can lead to walking difficulties. AMPYRA is a broad-spectrum potassium channel blocker, and the first MS medication thought to enhance signal conduction by blocking some of the potassium leaks. This can make a difference for some people with MS."

The antigen is a piece of protein that the potassium channel is made from (or autoantigen). A foreign antigen is a piece of a virus. If your adaptive immune system is conditioined to recognize antigens (immunity) or autoantigens (autoimmunity) it will attack that protein and remember that protein if it is encountered again (via antibodies and autoantibodies).

It looks like Ampyra blocks potassium leakage out of the channel, while these finding suggest MS attacks the potassium channel itself.
User avatar
CVfactor
Family Elder
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:00 pm

Re: Researchers identify potassium channel as an MS autoanti

Postby Sparky10 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:49 am

Thanks! That helps explain it for me. :-D
Sparky10
Family Member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:02 pm
Location: Iowa!

Re: Researchers identify potassium channel as an MS autoanti

Postby frodo » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:19 pm

I quote my favourite part:

"Analysis of the combined data sets indicated the presence of serum antibodies to KIR4.1 in 186 of 397 persons with multiple sclerosis (46.9%), in 3 of 329 persons with other neurologic diseases (0.9%), and in none of the 59 healthy donors"

It seems that they have finally identified a subtype of MS as clearly autoimmune. Let's hope this will shed some light.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1110740
User avatar
frodo
Family Elder
 
Posts: 611
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:00 pm


Return to General Discussion

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


Contact us | Terms of Service