By Cara Murez
Researchers at Thomas Jefferson College in Philadelphia are learning a drug that might forestall immune system cells from attacking the myelin sheath, a protecting layer that surrounds nerve cells. With MS, the physique’s immune system assaults the central nervous system by attacking the myelin sheath.
Whereas this remedy would impede the autoimmune response, it could go away the remainder of the immune system absolutely functioning, in line with the research.
“It is a large benefit of our antigen-specific methodology over present therapies, that are like a sledgehammer to the immune system,” stated senior research writer Dr. Abdolmohamad Rostami, chairman of the Division of Neurology at Sidney Kimmel Medical School at Thomas Jefferson College.
“There are numerous attainable immune-activating antigens within the myelin sheath, however the largest hurdle is that we do not know which element of myelin is triggering the immune response in MS sufferers,” Rostami defined. “Earlier research have used single myelin antigens or mixtures of antigens to forestall autoimmunity in animal fashions, however in people they’ve had restricted success.”
For this research, researchers checked out cells referred to as oligodendrocytes, which wrap their cell membrane round nerve cells to supply the myelin sheath. Scientists can harvest tiny sacs referred to as extracellular vesicles (EVs) from these cultured cells. Researchers imagine these EVs comprise all of the related myelin antigens, which implies there can be a better likelihood they might cease the autoimmune assault on myelin.
“The neat factor about these EVs is that they provide us a possibility to deal with the illness in an antigen-specific approach, with out having to know the precise id of the goal antigen,” Rostami stated in a college information launch. “It covers all of the bases.”
Researchers injected these EVs into three totally different mouse fashions meant to point out affect on MS at each early and late levels. They reported that it prevented onset of signs like decreased mobility and paralysis when administered earlier than the illness developed, in addition to decreasing severity of illness when given later.
That this strategy was efficient in several fashions suggests this might act as a common remedy, Rostami famous. Nevertheless, outcomes from animal research don’t all the time pan out in people.
The researchers stated they have been additionally capable of isolate EVs from human cells, discovering additionally they contained a number of myelin antigens. It is attainable that they might have the identical therapeutic impact in sufferers, in line with the research.
Rostami and his staff are engaged on patenting the intravenous EVs strategy.
The research was printed Nov. 4 in Science Translational Drugs.
Go to the Nationwide A number of Sclerosis Society to study extra about treatments for MS.
SOURCE: Thomas Jefferson College, information launch, Nov. 3, 2020