Study Links MIF, D-DT Molecules to Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Development

Two molecules known to regulate cellular signaling contribute to the underlying mechanism of progressive multiple sclerosis, found a recent study conducted by investigators at Oregon Health & Science University and Yale University School of Medicine. These two proteins are related to each other, as they participate in the same cellular signaling process that regulate the immune system's response. Previous studies have blamed them for the worsening of several autoimmune and inflammatory disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus. The research team found that patients with progressive MS had higher levels of MIF and D-DT proteins than those with the relapsing-remitting form of the disease. In addition, these proteins inflamed the central nervous system, making patients sicker. An analysis of the genes that encode the proteins revealed that higher levels of MIF were linked to the presence of two genetic variants that are more frequent in patients — particularly males — with progressive disease. Researchers confirmed their findings with animal models of MS-like disease that were genetically engineered to lack MIF and D-DT proteins. Taken together, this finding suggests that a simple genetic test could identify patients carrying the MIF genetic susceptibility — and therefore more likely to develop a severe form of MS. This study was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Rocky Mountain MS Center Tissue Bank and the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs.

Imbalances in Brain Microbiota May Be Behind Demyelination in MS, Study Says

Alterations in microorganisms in the brains of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients could contribute to underlying disease mechanisms, including demyelination, according to researchers. The study, “Brain microbiota disruption within inflammatory demyelinating lesions in multiple sclerosis,” was published in the journal Scientific Reports. It is widely recognized that the…

Novel Protein Suppresses MS in Mouse Model, Inhibits Neuroinflammation in Spinal Cord

In a recent study entitled “Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG35-55)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis is ameliorated in interleukin-32 alpha transgenic mice,” a team of researchers investigated whether interleukin (IL)-32, a cytokine with an established role in rheumatoid arthritis, has a protective function in a mouse model of human multiple…