Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

One size does not fit all

27.05.2009
A new look at therapies

Statins, a commonly prescribed class of drugs used by millions worldwide to effectively lower blood cholesterol levels, may actually have a negative impact in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients treated with high daily dosages.

A new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), McGill University, demonstrates that statin therapy in mice inhibits myelin repair or remyelination in the central nervous system. The findings, published in The American Journal of Pathology, highlight the crucial need to monitor the effects of central nervous system-accessible immune therapies on the myelin repair processes in patients with MS and other progressive demyelinating diseases.

Canadians have one of the highest rates of MS in the world. An estimated 50, 000 Canadians have MS, with approximately 1,000 new cases diagnosed each year. MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS), in which immune cells attack the myelin sheath (the protective insulation of nerve fibres), and the myelin-producing cells of the CNS (oligodendrocytes), causing demyelination. This causes damage which disrupts the nerve cell's ability to transmit signals throughout the nervous system.

In the early stages of MS, following an immune system attack on myelin, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells or stem cells in the CNS are recruited to the lesion. These cells mature and produce new myelin to repair the damage.

"Statins, which are known to modify the immune system response and have a wide array of effects on other cellular processes, were propelled into clinical trials based on studies in an animal model of MS indicating a reduction in clinical disease severity," says Dr. Veronique Miron, post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Jack Antel's lab at the MNI, and lead investigator in the study. "The mechanism of statin action in these studies was not determined. That is, does statin directly effect myelin and/or the oligodendrocytes or is disease severity reduced indirectly due to the dampening of the immune response. This issue required further investigation, particularly due to the ability of statins to cross the blood-brain barrier and access the CNS, and the enrichment of cholesterol in the myelin sheath."

The objective of the MNI study was to determine the direct impact of simvastatin, a statin in clinical trials, on the integrity of myelin in the brain and on the remyelination process. The study uses a model of myelin damage that has relatively little inflammation and mimics the demyelinating aspect of MS, allowing MNI researchers to determine the direct effect of long-term statin therapy on remyelination, independent of its indirect effects mediated via immune modulation.

"The results of our study indicate that simvastatin has in fact, a slightly deleterious effect on myelin under non-pathological conditions," adds Dr. Miron. "During remyelination, there is a decrease not only in myelin production but also in oligodendrocyte number as a result of simvastatin treatment. The findings also suggest that simvastatin inhibits CNS remyelination by blocking oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation or maturation into myelinating oligodendrocytes."

This study underscores the necessity of monitoring the long-terms effects of CNS accessible immune therapies, particularly those that can impact cell types that are postulated to be targeted in neurological disease processes and that are implicated in any brain tissue repair processes. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of these therapies will lead to improved and enhanced treatment strategies and ultimately improved quality of life for people who suffer from a variety of neurological diseases.

This work was supported by grants from the Foundation of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

About the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital

The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) is a unique academic medical centre dedicated to neuroscience. The Neuro is a research and teaching institute of McGill University and forms the basis for the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, The Neuro is recognized internationally for integrating research, compassionate patient care and advanced training, all key to advances in science and medicine. Neuro researchers are world leaders in cellular and molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders.

Anita Kar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcgill.ca
http://www.mni.mcgill.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Establishing metastasis
25.09.2018 | Medical University of South Carolina

nachricht Artificial intelligence to improve drug combination design & personalized medicine
25.09.2018 | SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

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: Hygiene at your fingertips with the new CleanHand Network

The Fraunhofer FEP has been involved in developing processes and equipment for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification for decades. The CleanHand Network for development of systems and technologies to clean surfaces, materials, and objects was established in May 2018 to bundle the expertise of many partnering organizations. As a partner in the CleanHand Network, Fraunhofer FEP will present the Network and current research topics of the Institute in the field of hygiene and cleaning at the parts2clean trade fair, October 23-25, 2018 in Stuttgart, at the booth of the Fraunhofer Cleaning Technology Alliance (Hall 5, Booth C31).

Test reports and studies on the cleanliness of European motorway rest areas, hotel beds, and outdoor pools increasingly appear in the press, especially during...

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Establishing metastasis

25.09.2018 | Health and Medicine

Artificial intelligence to improve drug combination design & personalized medicine

25.09.2018 | Health and Medicine

Small modulator for big data

25.09.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>