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Carbon Monoxide Protects Mice From Multiple Sclerosis

Date:
January 26, 2007
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes degeneration of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, leading to various symptoms including muscle weakness and pain. Using a mouse model of MS (known as EAE), researchers have now shown that increased expression of a protein known as HO-1, as well as administration of carbon monoxide, protects mice from disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes degeneration of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, leading to various symptoms including muscle weakness and pain. Most individuals with MS go through cycles of disease and remission, leading to the suggestion that there are regulatory mechanisms that counter the disease-causing inflammation.

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Using a mouse model of MS (known as EAE), researchers from the Gulbenkian Institute in Portugal show that increased expression of a protein known as HO-1, as well as administration of carbon monoxide, protect mice from disease.

In the study, which appears online on January 25 in advance of publication in the February print issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Miguel Soares and colleagues show that mice lacking HO-1 develop more severe EAE than wild-type mice. Conversely, in mice already suffering the symptoms of EAE, disease is reversed if HO-1 expression is induced.

The function of HO-1 is to degrade excess heme (a component of many important cellular proteins) and one of the by-products of heme degradation is carbon monoxoide. Surprisingly, like the induction of HO-1 expression, administration of carbon monoxide to mice already suffering the symptoms of EAE decreased disease.

The authors therefore suggest that modulating HO-1 expression or administering carbon monoxide might be useful therapeutic strategies to treat patients with MS.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Carbon Monoxide Protects Mice From Multiple Sclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070125190053.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2007, January 26). Carbon Monoxide Protects Mice From Multiple Sclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070125190053.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Carbon Monoxide Protects Mice From Multiple Sclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070125190053.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

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