Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers a step closer to controlling inflammation in multiple sclerosis

Date:
October 4, 2012
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
New research suggests a possible new mechanism to control multiple sclerosis.

A University of Adelaide researcher has published results that suggest a possible new mechanism to control multiple sclerosis (MS).

Dr Iain Comerford from the University's School of Molecular and Biomedical Science earned a three-year fellowship from MS Research Australia to work on this project. It is directed towards understanding how specific enzymes in cells of the immune system regulate immune cell activation and migration.

Along with his colleagues, Professor Shaun McColl and PhD students Wendel Litchfield and Ervin Kara, he focused on a molecule known as PI3Kgamma, which is involved in the activation and movement of white blood cells.

"There's already been worldwide interest in PI3Kgamma in relation to other human inflammatory disorders, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and our study links this molecule and MS," said Dr Comerford, who is a Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia Fellow at the University of Adelaide.

Dr Comerford and his colleagues have now shown that this molecule is crucial for the development of experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE) in an animal model developed as a standard laboratory system for studying MS.

The team showed that a genetic alteration, which knocked out that particular molecule, resulted in a high resistance to the development of EAE and therefore protected against the nervous system damage typical of multiple sclerosis.

When the molecule is present, severe damage to the insulating myelin in the central nervous system was evident, resulting in inflammation in the spinal cord and myelin loss.

Following up on this result, the team then used an orally active drug that blocks the activity of the molecule PI3Kgamma at the first signs of disease onset. The drug even suppressed the development of EAE and reversed clinical signs of the disease.

"Our results so far have been very promising," Dr Comerford said.

"We've shown that by blocking PI3Kgamma, we can reduce the activation of self-reactive immune cells, reduce the release of inflammation-inducing molecules from immune cells, and also result in a dramatic reduction in the movement of immune cells into the central nervous system.

"Our hope is that future therapies for MS might target this molecule, which could very specifically dampen the damaging inflammation in the central nervous system.

"It will now be crucial to determine whether targeting these molecules could be a safe and effective way to treat MS in humans," Dr Comerford said.

Mr Jeremy Wright, CEO of MS Research Australia, said: "It is very rewarding to see that MSRA has been able to support these exciting developments by a young up-and-coming researcher. We will await his further results with great interest."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Iain Comerford, Wendel Litchfield, Ervin Kara, Shaun R. McColl. PI3Kγ Drives Priming and Survival of Autoreactive CD4 T Cells during Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (9): e45095 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0045095

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Researchers a step closer to controlling inflammation in multiple sclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121004121636.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2012, October 4). Researchers a step closer to controlling inflammation in multiple sclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121004121636.htm
University of Adelaide. "Researchers a step closer to controlling inflammation in multiple sclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121004121636.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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