Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover MS-like disease in monkeys

29.06.2011
Findings could lead to major advance in MS research in humans

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered a naturally occurring disease in monkeys that is very much like multiple sclerosis in humans — a discovery that could have a major impact on efforts to understand the cause of multiple sclerosis.

The disease that the researchers discovered in monkeys at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center is associated with a herpes virus that could give significant clues into how multiple sclerosis develops in humans. MS researchers have long believed that a type of herpes virus may trigger multiple sclerosis in people who are genetically susceptible to the disease.

The OHSU researchers' findings were published online today in the Annals of Neurology.

“These findings could have a huge impact on our understanding of MS and could be a landmark in someday developing more effective treatments for the disease, or even methods to prevent the onset of MS,” said Scott Wong, Ph.D., senior author of the study and a scientist at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and the Oregon National Primate Research Center.

Both elements of the OHSU discovery are important for MS researchers.

Before the OHSU findings, researchers had been able to study MS-like diseases in nonhuman primates only after the disease had been artificially induced. A naturally occurring disease, such as the one discovered at OHSU, can give researchers many more clues into the causes and development of the disease.

"Now, we may be able to tease apart what's triggering the onset of the disease," Wong said.

And the fact that the disease, found in a small percentage of the Japanese macaques at OHSU each year, came from a herpes virus could prove hugely important to MS researchers worldwide.

Researchers can now search for a similar virus in MS patients.

The cause of MS, which affects about 400,000 people in the United States, is unknown. But researchers have long believed that a virus, possibly a herpes virus, might trigger the disease in people who are genetically susceptible.

"Understanding how this herpes virus causes the MS-like disease in the monkeys will give us important new knowledge — and drive new research that could lead to significant advancements in finding and preventing the virus that might cause MS," said Dennis Bourdette, M.D., a co-author of the study, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Oregon and professor and chairman of the OHSU Department of Neurology.

From 1986 through 2010, 56 of the Japanese macaque monkeys at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at OHSU spontaneously developed paralysis in their hind limbs, along with other symptoms. The monkeys were humanely euthanized because they could not have been returned to the monkey colony safely. Researchers later did necropsies on the their bodies and performed MRI scans on eight of the animals.

That work and other testing allowed researchers to discover that an MS-like disease called Japanese macaque encephalomyelitis was causing the paralysis. While the disease typically afflicted young adult animals, it also was present in juveniles and older animals, and was present in both males and females.

About 1 to 3 percent of the more than 300 Japanese macaques at the primate center develop the disease each year, according to the researchers.

With this discovery, MS researchers now will be able to move toward trying to prevent or treat the virus in monkeys, which might help scientists make progress in treating MS in humans.

In addition to Wong and Bourdette, co-authors of the study include Michael Axthelm, D.V.M., Ph.D., of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute; William Rooney, Ph.D., of OHSU’s Advanced Imaging Research Center; and Larry Sherman, Ph.D., of the Oregon National Primate Research Center.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Research Enrichment Award Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development, the OHSU Multiple Sclerosis Center, and the United States Department of Defense. The study is titled “Japanese macaque encephalomyelitis: a spontaneous multiple sclerosis-like disease.”

About the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Oregon
Founded in 1983, OHSU’s Multiple Sclerosis Center of Oregon is one of nation’s premier MS patient care and research centers. The MS Center provides state-of-the-art care to people with MS from all over Oregon and the rest of the Northwest while conducting world-renowned research on MS.
About the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute
Located on the West Campus of OHSU, the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute was established in March 2001. The overall mission of the VGTI is to respond to the increasingly serious infectious disease threats facing the people of Oregon, the United States and the world as a whole, including AIDS, chronic viral infection-associated diseases, newly emerging viral diseases, and infectious diseases of the elderly. Vaccine development and the development of novel immune and gene therapeutic approaches to these diseases are the major priorities of the faculty.
About the Oregon National Primate Research Center
The Oregon National Primate Research Center at OHSU is one of eight national primate centers funded by the National Institutes of Health. The centers serve as a location for health studies that require animal based research. At the Oregon center, main areas of research are the study of neurological disorders such as MS and Parkinson’s diseases, research into addressing fertility problems and preventing premature birth and infectious disease research focusing on diseases such as AIDS.

Todd Murphy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohsu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur

nachricht MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nerves control the body’s bacterial community

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Four elements make 2-D optical platform

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan

26.09.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>