Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Promising target for multiple sclerosis treatments identified

Date:
March 19, 2013
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Medical researchers have identified an elevated presence in MS patients of a type of white blood cell (CD4 T cell) that expresses NKG2C, a highly-toxic molecule harmful to brain tissues.

A team of basic and clinical scientists led by the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre's (CRCHUM) Dr. Nathalie Arbour has opened the door to significantly improved treatments for the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In a study selected as among the top 10% most interesting articles published in the Journal of Immunology, the team identifies the elevated presence in MS patients of a type of white blood cell (CD4 T cell) that expresses NKG2C, a highly-toxic molecule harmful to brain tissues.

In close collaboration with clinicians at the University of Montreal Hospital and the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Dr. Arbour's team studied tissues from healthy subjects and MS patients. This approach enabled the team to uncover a novel mechanism by which CD4 T cells expressing NKG2C can directly target brain cells having a specific corresponding ligand found only in MS patients. "These results are very encouraging," says Arbour, "since they provide us with a much more refined picture of how the brain cells of MS patients are targeted by the immune system and provide us with a clearer understanding of how to go about blocking their action."

There is no known cure for this auto-immune disease of the central nervous system. While there are a number of approved MS therapies targeting molecules expressed by immune cells, they are sometimes too broad in their application. They can suppress the efficiency of the immune system but also open the way for serious infections in some MS patients such as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a serious viral disease that can cause death in people with severe immune deficiency, such as MS patients on immunosuppressive medication.

"Our research has made an important step in getting around this problem. Because NKG2C is specifically expressed by a subset of CD4 T cells only found in MS patients, targeting this receptor would not affect large populations of immune cells, but only those which produce the symptoms characteristic of this debilitating disease," explains Arbour.

For patients this discovery could translate into improved treatments aimed at decreasing the progression of the disease and its symptoms, without the risk of potentially lethal infections and therefore improving their quality of life.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. F. Zaguia, P. Saikali, S. Ludwin, J. Newcombe, D. Beauseigle, E. McCrea, P. Duquette, A. Prat, J. P. Antel, N. Arbour. Cytotoxic NKG2C CD4 T Cells Target Oligodendrocytes in Multiple Sclerosis. The Journal of Immunology, 2013; 190 (6): 2510 DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202725

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Promising target for multiple sclerosis treatments identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130319144427.htm>.
McGill University. (2013, March 19). Promising target for multiple sclerosis treatments identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130319144427.htm
McGill University. "Promising target for multiple sclerosis treatments identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130319144427.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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