Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New approach to improving treatment for MS and other conditions

Date:
May 17, 2013
Source:
University of California - Davis Health System
Summary:
Working with lab mice models of multiple sclerosis (MS), scientists have detected a novel molecular target for the design of drugs that could be safer and more effective than current FDA-approved medications against MS.

Working with lab mice models of multiple sclerosis (MS), UC Davis scientists have detected a novel molecular target for the design of drugs that could be safer and more effective than current FDA-approved medications against MS.

The findings of the research study, published online today in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine could have therapeutic applications for MS as well as cerebral palsy and leukodystrophies, all disorders associated with loss of white matter, which is the brain tissue that carries information between nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

The target, a protein referred to as mitochondrial translocator protein (TSPO), had been previously identified but not linked to MS, an autoimmune disease that strips the protective fatty coating off nerve fibers of the brain and spinal cord. The mitrochronical TSPO is located on the outer surface of mitochondria, cellular structures that supply energy to the cells. Damage to the fatty coating, or myelin, slows the transmission of the nerve signals that enable body movement as well as sensory and cognitive functioning.

The scientists identified mitochondrial TSPO as a potential therapeutic target when mice that had symptoms of MS improved after being treated with the anti-anxiety drug etifoxine, which interacts with mitochondrial TSPO. When etifoxine, a drug clinically available in Europe, was administered to the MS mice before they had clinical signs of disease, the severity of the disease was reduced when compared to the untreated lab animals. When treated at the peak of disease severity, the animals' MS symptoms improved.

"Etifoxine has a novel protective effect against the loss of the sheath that insulates the nerve fibers that transmit the signals from brain cells," said Wenbin Deng, principal investigator of the study and associate professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine at UC Davis.

"Our discovery of etifoxine's effects on an MS animal model suggests that mitochondrial TSPO represents a potential therapeutic target for MS drug development," said Deng.

"Drugs designed to more precisely bind to mitochondrial TSPO may help repair the myelin sheath of MS patients and thereby even help restore the transmission of signals in the central nervous system that enable normal motor, sensory and cognitive functions," he said.

Deng added that better treatments for MS and other demyelinating diseases are needed, especially since current FDA-approved therapies do not repair the damage of immune attacks on the myelin sheath.

The UC Davis research team hopes to further investigate the therapeutic applications of mitochondrial TSPO in drug development for MS and other autoimmune diseases. To identify more efficacious and safer drug candidates, they plan to pursue research grants that will enable them to test a variety of pharmacological compounds that bind to mitochondrial TSPO and other molecular targets in experimental models of MS and other myelin diseases.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel J. Daugherty, Vimal Selvaraj, Olga V. Chechneva, Xiao-Bo Liu, David E. Pleasure, Wenbin Deng. A TSPO ligand is protective in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/emmm.201202124

Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis Health System. "New approach to improving treatment for MS and other conditions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130517152439.htm>.
University of California - Davis Health System. (2013, May 17). New approach to improving treatment for MS and other conditions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130517152439.htm
University of California - Davis Health System. "New approach to improving treatment for MS and other conditions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130517152439.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. 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