A research group of the Tübingen University Hospital studied a small, body-derived molecule called di-methyl fumarate (DMF), hat is the first molecule improving both diseases psoriasis and multiple sclerosis. They found that this body-derived molecule strongly influences natures most potent ‘immune stimulators’, the dendritic cells that have recently been awarded by the Nobel Prize to Ralph Steinman.
Normally, dendritic cells should recognize danger caused by bacteria or viruses, alarm the immune system and raise protective responses. Unfortunately, when fooled, dendritic cells induce by error immunity against the body’s own cells and start to destroy them.The Tübingen team has now shown, that small molecules like DMF re-educate the dendritic cells and turn them into a cell that protects from tissue destruction, the so-called ‚type 2 dendritic cells’. Using complex series of experiments, they uncover the mechanisms underly-ing this ‘re-education of the dendritic cells’. This establishes general rules for the develop-ment of new, most likely safe drugs that will significantly improve the life of patients with se-vere autoimmune diseases, namely psoriasis or multiple sclerosis.
The University of Tübingen holds a patent on this principle.Published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine 2011, October online
Dr. Ellen Katz | idw
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