T cells, a type of immune cell, can impede the development and progression of multiple sclerosis in mice, according to a paper to be published in the September 2006 issue of Nature Immunology.
Many different types of T cells exist, each expressing a unique T cell receptor that helps the cell sense and react appropriately to its environment. J. Ludovic Croxford and colleagues show that a specific subset of T cells slows the onset and decreases the severity of a mouse version of human multiple sclerosis. The disease is worsened in the absence of these T cells, which block autoimmunity at least in part by triggering other immune cells to release chemical mediators that dampen the inflammatory response. Whether these T cells are involved in human autoimmune disease, and whether they can be harnessed for therapeutic intervention, remains to be determined.
Takashi Yamamura (National Institute of Neuroscience, Tokyo, Japan)
J. Ludovic Croxford (National Institute of Neuroscience, Tokyo, Japan)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Immunology press release.
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