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Mediator Of Multiple Sclerosis

 
  August, 27 2009 19:20
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     

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.

Author contacts:

Howard Weiner (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA)
E-mail: hweiner@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Francisco Quintana (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA)
E-mail: fquintana@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Immunology.


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