A factor that may contribute to the progressive phase of multiple sclerosis (MS) has been identified in a paper published online in Nature Immunology.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects a person's nervous system and leads to physical and cognitive disabilities. There are different patterns of progression for MS with the irreversible progressive phase appearing after the relapsing-remitting phase of the disease. There is currently no effective therapy for the progressive phase of MS.
A group led by Howard Weiner and Francisco Quintana identified a lipid, 15-HC, that is present in elevated concentrations in patients with progressive, but not relapsing-remitting, MS. The scientists found that 15-HC activates a receptor called PARP-1 and that inhibition of PARP-1 activity slows the progression of MS in a mouse model of MS.
Future work will determine whether PARP-1 activity can be manipulated for therapeutic benefit in patients with progressive MS.
Howard Weiner (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA)
Francisco Quintana (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Immunology.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza