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A discovery by Dr. Andre Veillette's team could impact the treatment of autoimmune diseases
Date:8/19/2010

"The removal of PTP-PEST can unfortunately prevent immunization and weaken the response to a vaccine," concludes Dr. Veillette. "Fortunately, it can also prevent overactive immune responses and could eventually help treat autoimmune diseases. It's like a double-edged sword."

According to the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Canada, MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young Canadians. Canada is known as having one of the highest prevalence rates of multiple sclerosis in the world, with an estimated 55,000 to 75,000 Canadians living with multiple sclerosis. The MS Society estimates that approximately 1,000 new cases of MS are diagnosed in the country each year, which means three Canadians are diagnosed with the disease every day.

This research project was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). "This new discovery regarding the immune regulatory properties of PTP-PEST may have profound implications for the treatment of MS and other autoimmune disorders," says Dr. Judith Bray, Assistant Director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity. "Current therapies for MS that target the immune system are general and can have significant adverse side effects, so clearly more specific, targeted therapies are needed. This is one of the reasons that CIHR has heavily invested in Clinical Autoimmunity research, in an effort to understand the mechanisms that cause autoimmune disorders and develop more effective treatments for them."


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Contact: Julie Langelier
julie.langelier@ircm.qc.ca
514-987-5555
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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