Researchers at NIH found evidence that a unique type of immune cell, lymphoid tissue inducer (LTi) cells, contributes to multiple sclerosis (MS). Their discovery helps define the effects of one of the newest drugs under investigation for treating MS, daclizumab. The scientists believe that their work could lead to a new class of drugs for treating this and other autoimmune disorders.
Ongoing clinical trials have shown that daclizumab appears to help quiet the autoimmune response in MS patients, but its precise effects on the legions of cells that make up the immune system are not fully understood. The new study, published in Science Translational Medicine, shows that one effect of daclizumab is to thin the ranks of LTi cells. These cells are known to promote the development of lymph nodes and related tissues during fetal life, but their role during adulthood has been unclear. The new study marks the first time that LTi cells have been implicated in any human autoimmune disorder.
Bibiana Bielekova, M.D., an investigator at NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and her team found that among MS patients participating in clinical trials of daclizumab, the number of LTi cells was elevated in patients not receiving daclizumab compared to those on the drug. Patients receiving daclizumab also had reduced signs of inflammation in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds the brain. The researchers also found that daclizumab appears to steer the body away from producing LTi cells, in favour of another cell type that counteracts autoimmunity.... Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/3491