Multiple sclerosis patients experience a slow, cruel degeneration of their central nervous systems, so researchers are always on the lookout for new strategies to improve treatments for curbing the disease. A paper online in Nature describes an approach that homes in on two potential therapeutic targets.
Lawrence Steinman and his colleagues compare 2,538 proteins from the brains of multiple sclerosis patients with the same proteins from normal brains. They identify numerous proteins peculiar to brain lesions associated with different disease stages - two, in particular, showed signs of damage during the chronic active period.
The two proteins - known as 'tissue factor' and 'protein C inhibitor' - normally participate in the control of blood clotting and in anti-inflammatory pathways. The team suggest that the damaged proteins might be helping the multiple sclerosis to progress and, by using a thrombin inhibitor and a recombinant active protein, manage successfully to 'correct' them in an mouse model that mimics the disease.
Lawrence Steinman (Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA)
(C) Nature press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza