Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Inhibiting Blood To Save The Brain

Date:
March 27, 2007
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine have identified a fibrin-derived peptide that inhibits this specific inflammation process in mouse models of Multiple Sclerosis, reducing MS symptoms.

Fibrin MS 3sm. Researchers suppress relapsing paralysis in mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - San Diego

Researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine have identified a fibrin-derived peptide that inhibits this specific inflammation process in mouse models of multiple sclerosis (MS), reducing MS symptoms.

A fibrous protein called fibrinogen, found in circulating blood and important in blood clotting, can promote multiple sclerosis when it leaks from the blood into the brain, triggering inflammation that leads to MS-related nerve damage. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine have identified a fibrin-derived peptide that inhibits this specific inflammation process in mouse models of MS, reducing MS symptoms.

"Current strategies to develop therapies to fight MS primarily target T cells," said Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D., assistant professor in UCSD's Department of Pharmacology, whose study was published in the March 19 issue of Journal of Experimental Medicine. "Blood proteins have been neglected as a therapeutic target, but this research shows that a blood clotting factor is an important player in MS."

MS is an inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system, causing symptoms such as loss of balance and muscle coordination, and changes in cognitive function. The disease is marked by loss of myelin, a material that coats nerve fibers. Past studies showed that the destruction of the myelin sheath is associated with the accumulation of fibrinogen deposits in the brain of human MS patients. In this study, Akassoglou and colleagues showed that fibrinogen is not merely associated with the damage in MS, but an active participant. Fibrinogen activates macrophage cells in the brain called microglia, causing inflammation which damages myelin.

The scientists sought to design a therapeutic strategy that would block the damaging effects of fibrinogen without affecting its beneficial blood coagulation. Studying a mouse model, the researchers identified a specific receptor called Mac-1 that is expressed by microglial cells and binds to fibrinogen. Mice expressing a mutant form of fibrinogen that failed to bind Mac-1 had fewer inflammatory lesions and less severe MS symptoms. Blocking the interaction between Mac-1 and fibrinogen after the first episode of paralysis using the fibrin peptide prevented subsequent relapses. It also prevented further microglia activation and damage to myelin in the diseased mice, allowing them to survive with improved motor function.

"Importantly, this approach blocks fibrin's interaction with microglia, but not with platelets, so clotting wouldn't be impacted," said Akassoglou, adding that this potential MS therapy might also have applications to other blood-brain barrier diseases where blood leakage and microglia activation is present such as spinal cord injury, Alzheimer's disease or stroke.

Additional contributors to the paper include Ryan A. Adams, Shoana L. Sikorski and Tal Nuriel of UCSD's Department of Pharmacology; Jan Bauer and Hans Lassmann, Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna; and Matthew J. Flick and Jay L. Degen, Children's Hospital Research Foundation and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Funding for the study was provided in part by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, and by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Inhibiting Blood To Save The Brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070322105436.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2007, March 27). Inhibiting Blood To Save The Brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070322105436.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Inhibiting Blood To Save The Brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070322105436.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins