PDA

View Full Version : Multiple sclerosis research into reparative cells offers new avenue for fighting dise



carbar
03-02-2006, 05:19 PM
UT Southwestern Medical Center
02.03.2006
Multiple sclerosis research into reparative cells offers new avenue for fighting disease

Plaques that form around the nerve cells of people with multiple sclerosis are apparently what disable people with the disease. But partly developed reparative cells within the plaques provide hope for a treatment, a UT Southwestern physician reports in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Elliot Frohman, professor of neurology and ophthalmology, is lead author on an overview of MS. It is the first time in five years that Journal editors ontent of a plaque is harmful to nerves, there are some cells that provide hope, Dr. Frohman said.

Even though the oligodendrocytes are damaged, there exists a reservoir of oligodendrocyte precursor cell, or OPCs, left over from development that could be activated to repair the damage, he said. The problem is how to trigger them to grow.

"Those are progenitor cells that will grow up into mature cells," Dr. Frohman said. "We know more why they don’t grow up."

Proteins called repressor proteins keep the OPCs in an immature state. Activating the OPC, however, might help a severed or demyelinated nerve in the central nervous system become the target for repair.

Treatments for MS are difficult, but researchers are examining the regulation of the genes Nogo, Lingo-1, Jagged and Notch for potential treatment.

The proteins Nogo and Lingo-1 appear to have the ability to block nerve cells from growing, so if they can be blocked, the nerve cells might be able to recover.

"With the advent of new technologies, we have a much better understanding of the events that occur during the MS disease process," said co-author Dr. Michael Racke, professor of neurology and in the Center for Immunology. "In particular, we will see a much greater emphasis on the molecular events that occur during MS and will likely see new strategies to intervene in the disease." Dr. Racke holds the Lois C.A. and Darwin E. Smith Distinguished Chair in Neurological Mobility Research.
More information:
www.utsouthwestern.edu