Tregs

Novel immune cell strategy found to reverse disease in MS mice

Microparticles that activate regulatory T-cells, or Tregs, an immune cell type with anti-inflammatory properties, reversed the accumulation of physical disability due to multiple sclerosis (MS) in a mouse model of the neurodegenerative disorder, a new study shows. Use of the novel strategy even cured some of the animals. “We…

Berberine, plant compound, eases disease severity in MS mouse model

Treatment with berberine, a compound found in many plants, eased disease severity and showed anti-inflammatory effects in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study reports. “These results confirmed that treatment with berberine efficiently improved the disease in the animal model of MS,” the researchers wrote, noting…

Blocking Kidney Protein Prevents Progression in MS Mouse Model

A protein called nephronectin mediates autoimmunity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), and blocking this protein was found to prevent disease progression and processes that drive T-cells toward an inflammatory state, researchers reported. Study findings support nephronectin, a protein involved in kidney development, as a promising treatment…

Targeting Ion Channel Piezo1 in T-cells Eased MS in Mice

Removing an ion channel called Piezo1 from immune T-cells lessened disease severity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), a study showed. Notably, these beneficial effects were associated with an expansion of regulatory T-cells (Tregs) — a type of immune cell that typically dampens immune and inflammatory responses —…

Immune Treg Cells Seen to Ease Paralysis in Mouse Model of MS

Regulatory T-cells (Tregs) — immune cells that normally dampen immune and inflammatory responses by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory immune cells — enabled mice in a model of multiple sclerosis to partly recover from limb and tail paralysis, scientists reported. Tregs can do this by preventing a subtype of…

#ACTRIMS2020 – 3 Ways to Treat MS by Altering Gut Microbiome Under Study

Modulating the bacteria that reside in the gut by treating multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with probiotics, fecal transplants, or gut-related microRNAs may help to ease inflammation and disease severity, researchers with Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggest. Howard Weiner, MD, a group leader at the hospital, presented his team’s findings on…

Mayzent Helps Regulate the Immune System in SPMS, Study Shows

Mayzent (siponimod), an approved oral therapy for active secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), promotes a more regulatory immune system, which may explain its added benefits for SPMS, new clinical data show. The study “Siponimod enriches regulatory T and B lymphocytes in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis” was published in the…

Overreactive T-cells Can Transition into T-cells That Control the Immune Response, Study Shows

New research shows that overreactive and tissue-damaging T-cells can transition into regulatory T-cells that help to control the immune system’s response. These findings open the door to further understanding of the mechanism underlying this transition, knowledge that can help scientists in designing more effective, targeted immunotherapies for diseases like multiple…

Researchers Identify Quality Control Regulatory Cells That Prevent the Production of Autoantibodies

The discovery of an immune cell quality control mission may have put scientists a step closer to understanding how autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis arise. University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers identified regulatory immune cells with the quality control mission of destroying antibody-producing B-cells that mistakenly target the body's own tissue after an infection. An autoimmune disease is one in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue or organs instead of invaders. Eventually, the insight could lead researchers to new approaches for treating MS and other conditions caused by aberrant immune reactions. The Alabama researchers were studying the processes involved in the body's defense against a real threat — the influenza virus — when they discovered a population of immune cells whose action is relevant to autoimmune diseases. The study noted that T follicular regulatory cells appeared in the late stages of influenza infection. Their objective was to prevent the immune system from generating self-reactive antibodies — that is, those that attack the body's own tissue. These cells are poorly understood, the researchers explained. Their experiments, published in the journal Nature Immunology, focused on the molecular events surrounding the cells’ actions.  The team discovered that about a week after the infection, levels of an immune regulator called the IL-2 protein increased. This triggered the multiplication of common regulatory T-cells, or Tregs. When this phase of the immune reaction was fading, TFR cells started multiplying, reaching peak numbers about a month after infection. The formation of the TFR cells was therefore tightly linked to the processes controlling Treg production, researchers said, with falling levels of IL-2 allowing the new phase of the immune response. The TFR cells migrated to the lymph nodes — the headquarters of antibody-producing B-cells. Here, B-cells proliferate and change their antibody-producing genes to create new, stronger antibodies. But sometimes the gene changes, or mutations, give rise to an antibody that attacks the body, instead of invaders. Researchers discovered that TFR cells prevented B-cells, which gave rise to autoantibodies, from accumulating in the lymph nodes. Importantly, the TFR cells had no impact on the immune processes targeting the influenza virus. When researchers prevented TFR cells from forming or removed them from mice, the animals started producing autoantibodies, they explained. While this suggested that people with autoimmune diseases may have flawed TFR processes, the study did not investigate this, making the topic a possibility for future studies.

Lilly, Nektar Partner to Develop T-Cell Stimulator NKTR-358 for MS, Autoimmune Disorders

Eli Lilly and Nektar Therapeutics have established a development and commercial agreement for the investigational T-cell stimulator therapy NKTR-358 for the treatment of autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis. NKTR-358, discovered and initially developed by Nektar, has the potential to modulate immune system responses to re-establish an immune balance in patients with autoimmune disorders. The treatment targets the interleukin 2 receptor complex (IL-2R) that is expressed on the surface of a subset of immune cells called regulatory T-cells, or Tregs. NKTR-358 activity stimulates the proliferation of Tregs, which in turn will regulate the activity of other immune cells that are uncontrolled and are responsible for the underlying mechanisms of autoimmune disorders. "We look forward to working with Nektar to study this novel approach to treating a number of autoimmune conditions," Thomas F. Bumol, PhD, senior vice president of biotechnology and immunology research at Eli Lilly, said in a press release. "NKTR-358 is an exciting addition to our immunology portfolio and reinforces Lilly's commitment to sustain a flow of innovative medicines in our pipeline." Bumol added. Under the agreement, Lilly and Nektar will continue to jointly develop NKTR-358. Nektar will be responsible for completing the ongoing Phase 1 clinical study; and Phase 2 clinical development costs will be shared by the two companies, with Lilly covering 75 percent of the costs and Nektar the remaining 25 percent. Nektar will have the option to take part of the Phase 3 development of NKTR-358 on an indication-by-indication basis. "We are very pleased to enter into this collaboration with Lilly as they have strong expertise in immunology and a successful track record in bringing novel therapies to market," said Howard W. Robin, president and CEO of Nektar. "Importantly, this agreement enables the broad development of NKTR-358 in multiple autoimmune conditions in order to achieve its full potential as a first-in-class resolution therapeutic." Based on the announced agreement, Lilly will pay an initial amount of $150 million to Nektar, which will also be eligible to receive up to $250 million from additional development and regulatory milestones. In the future, Nektar may also receive royalties from the product depending on its investment in NKTR-358’s Phase 3 development and future product sales. Lilly will cover all costs of global marketing of NKTR-358, and Nektar will have an option to co-promote the drug in the United States.