Scientists discover potential new treatment for MS

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Scientists discover potential new treatment for MS

Post by MSUK » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:50 am

Scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have discovered a way to prevent the development of multiple sclerosis in mice. Using a drug that blocks the production of a certain type of immune cell linked to inflammation and autoimmunity, the researchers successfully protected against the onset of MS in an animal model of the disease. The scientists say the next step is to test this strategy using other autoimmune disorders.... Read More -

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Re: Scientists discover potential new treatment for MS

Post by NHE » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:22 am

This is interesting... I think it will be important to see what the long term effects of blocking sirtuins are if this treatment is to ever get into clinical use.
In the immune system, two kinds of T cells strike a delicate balance - T helper cells (Th17) activate the immune system, protecting against infections and cancers, while regulatory T cells (Tregs) suppress the system, keeping it in check. A disparity between these cell types, where there are too many Th17 and not enough Tregs, can lead to a hyperactive immune system, resulting in inflammation, tissue damage, and autoimmune disease.

In the current study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the researchers discovered that an important regulatory protein, sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), is involved in the production of Th17 cells. By blocking this protein, the scientists can protect against the onset of autoimmunity. SIRT1 also has a negative impact on Treg maturation and maintenance, so inhibiting its expression simultaneously enhances the production of Tregs and suppresses the creation of Th17.

To test this effect on disease, the researchers used a mouse model of MS and treated the animals with a drug that inhibits SIRT1. Typically, MS-model mice experience severe motor problems, eventually leading to paralysis, but when they were given the drug the mice behaved perfectly normally. Moreover, the treated animals showed no signs of inflammation or cell damage in their spines, classic markers for MS.

In contrast with the current research, SIRT1 is typically thought of as having anti-inflammatory properties, and compounds that increase SIRT1, like resveratrol, have been proposed as a way to delay aging. However, first author Hyungwook Lim, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Gladstone, says the new research suggests that the protein's effects are more complicated.

"The conventional theory has been that you should activate SIRT1 to improve health and longevity, but we show that this can have negative consequences," says Dr. Lim.

"Instead, we think the role of SIRT1 very much depends on the type of tissue being targeted. For instance, in immune cells, instead of being anti-inflammatory SIRT1 appears to have a pro-inflammatory role, which makes it a prime target to treat autoimmune disorders."

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Re: Scientists discover potential new treatment for MS

Post by 1eye » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:04 am

I think it is critical to state which mouse model of MS is being prevented. We have gone down the EAE road for too many years. It has led down too many blind alleys. The correct model of MS to use on mice before human trials is the one induced in mice by injection of cerebro-spinal fluid from human MS patients. This will make it that much harder to say "we have a breakthrough," which you have heard way too many times to believe. Perhaps we should call it the MAMMS model, for Man AND Mouse MS. Or if you prefer, the HAMMS model, for Human and Murine MS. I think we're worth the extra letter, don't you?
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