Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Multiple sclerosis blocked in mouse model

08.03.2011
Barring immune cells from brain prevents symptoms

Scientists have blocked harmful immune cells from entering the brain in mice with a condition similar to multiple sclerosis (MS).

According to researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, this is important because MS is believed to be caused by misdirected immune cells that enter the brain and damage myelin, an insulating material on the branches of neurons that conduct nerve impulses.

New insights into how the brain regulates immune cell entry made the accomplishment possible. Washington University scientists had borrowed an anti-cancer drug in development by the company ChemoCentryx simply to test their theories.

“The results were so dramatic that we ended up producing early evidence that this compound might be helpful as a drug for MS,” says Robyn Klein, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology and immunology, of medicine and of neurobiology. “The harmful immune cells were unable to gain access to the brain tissue, and the mice that received the highest dosage were protected from disease.”

ChemoCentryx is now testing the drug in Phase I safety trials. The study is published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Klein and her colleagues discovered a chemical stairway that immune cells have to climb down to enter the brain. Immune cells that exit the blood remain along the vessels on the tissue side, climbing down from the meninges into the brain where they can then cross additional barriers and attack myelin on the branches of neurons.

“The effect of immune cell entry into the brain depends on context,” Klein says. “In the case of viral infection, immune cell entry is required to clear the virus. But in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, their entry is associated with damage so we need to find ways to keep them out.”

The stairway is located on the tissue side of the microvasculature, tiny vessels that carry blood into the central nervous system. The steps are made of a molecule called CXCL12 that localizes immune cells, acting like stairs that slow them down so that they can be evaluated to determine if they are allowed to enter the brain. Klein's lab previously discovered that the blood vessel cells of the microvasculature display copies of this molecule on their surfaces.

Klein also found that MS causes CXCL12 to be pulled inside blood vessel cells in humans and mice, removing the stairway’s steps and the checkpoints they provide. In the new paper, she showed that blocking the internalization of the molecule prevented immune cells from getting into the brain and doing harm.

Work by another lab called Klein’s attention to CXCR7, a receptor that binds to CXCL12. She showed that the receptor is made by the same cells in the microvasculature that display CXCL12. They watched the receptor take copies of CXCL12 and dump them in the cells' lysosomes, pockets for breakdown and recycling of molecules the cell no longer needs.

“After it dumps its cargo in the lysosome, the receptor can go right back to the cell surface to pull in another copy of CXCL12,” Klein says. “There likely exists an equilibrium between expression and disposal of CXCL12. Some of the proteins expressed by the immune cells in MS patients affect CXCR7 expression and activity, disrupting the equilibrium and stripping the steps from this immune cell stairway we're studying.”

Klein contacted researchers at ChemoCentryx, who were developing a blocker of the CXCR7 receptor as a cancer treatment. When they gave it to the mouse model of MS, immune cells stopped at the meninges.

Klein also found that immune factors could cause microvasculature cells to make more or less of CXCR7, ramping up or down the number of steps on the chemical stairway. She is currently investigating additional immune factors that impact on CXCR7 activity within the blood vessel cell. Whether a given factor promotes or suppresses the receptor may also differ depending upon what part of the brain is being considered.

“One of the biggest questions in MS has been why the location, severity and progression of disease varies so much from patient to patient,” Klein says. “Getting a better understanding of how these factors regulate immune cell entry will be an important part of answering that question.”

Cruz-Orengo L, Holman DW, Dorsey D, Zhou L, Zhang P, Wright M, McCandless EE, Patel JR, Luker GD, Littman DR, Russell JH, Klein RS. CXCR7 influences leukocyte entry into the CNS parenchyma by controlling abluminal CXCL12 abundance during autoimmunity. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, Feb. 7, 2011.

Funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society supported this research.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Michael C. Purdy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wustl.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
21.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>