Metformin for treatment of multiple sclerosis?

A forum to post questions, answers and discussion about general medications not specifically for multiple sclerosis, such as prednisone, painkillers, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
Family Elder
Posts: 366
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 2:00 pm
Location: Near Wash DC

Metformin for treatment of multiple sclerosis?

Post by jackD » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:55 pm

Seems like Metformin does all the right things to treat MS.


J Immunol. 2009 Jun 15;182(12):8005-14. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0803563.

Metformin attenuated the autoimmune disease of the central nervous system in animal models of multiple sclerosis.

Nath N, Khan M, Paintlia MK, Singh I, Hoda MN, Giri S

J Immunol. 2009 Sep 1;183(5):3551. Singh, Inderjit [added].

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a T cell-mediated autoimmune disease of the CNS. Metformin is the most widely used drug for diabetes and mediates its action via activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). We provide evidence that metformin attenuates the induction of EAE by restricting the infiltration of mononuclear cells into the CNS, down-regulating the expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-17, and inducible NO synthase (iNOS)), cell adhesion molecules, matrix metalloproteinase 9, and chemokine (RANTES). Furthermore, the AMPK activity and lipids alterations (total phospholipids and in free fatty acids) were restored by metformin treatment in the CNS of treated EAE animals, suggesting the possible involvement of AMPK. Metformin activated AMPK in macrophages and thereby inhibited biosynthesis of phospholipids as well as neutral lipids and also down-regulated the expression of endotoxin (LPS)-induced proinflammatory cytokines and their mediators (iNOS and cyclooxygenase 2). It also attenuated IFN-gamma and IL-17-induced iNOS and cyclooxygenase 2 expression in RAW267.4 cells, further supporting its anti-inflammatory property. Metformin inhibited T cell-mediated immune responses including Ag-specific recall responses and production of Th1 or Th17 cytokines, while it induced the generation of IL-10 in spleen cells of treated EAE animals. Altogether these findings reveal that metformin may have a possible therapeutic value for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory diseases.

PMID: 19494326 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC2965405

User avatar
Volunteer Moderator
Posts: 5284
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 3:00 pm

Re: Metformin for treatment of multiple sclerosis?

Post by NHE » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:19 am

jackD wrote:Seems like Metformin does all the right things to treat MS.
Metformin blocks the absorption of vitamin B12. A B12 deficiency can cause demyelination of the spinal cord (known as subacute combined degeneration) and also periventricular brain lesions that mimic MS. Anyone taking metformin should get their B12 levels checked periodically and also consider using a sublingual methylcobalamin supplement.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post