Navigation Links
GM-CSF required for the immune attack in multiple sclerosis
Date:4/24/2011

This release is available in German.

The neutralization of the cytokine GM-CSF could halt the development of multiple sclerosis. This was demonstrated by the research team of the immunologist Burkhard Becher at the University of Zurich in an animal model. Unlike other known cytokines, they write in the journal Nature Immunology, this messenger substance is essential for the development of the disease. By the end of this year, a clinical trial will be launched in which GM-CSF is to be neutralized in MS patients.

The immune systems main task is to protect us from pathogenic microorganisms. To do so, an armada of immune cells is diligently instructed to search for invading pathogens. The ability of immune cells to communicate with one another is vital to this protection. Mistakes in the communication can lead to 'misunderstandings' and an erroneous attack against ones own tissues. Such is the case in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile diabetes, where the immune system inadvertently attacks the body. So-called helper T cells are chiefly responsible for the fatal immune response.

There are various sub-classes of helper T cells with different tasks and responsibilities. Clinicians and researchers have long been trying to ascertain which sub-class the rogue T cells that attack the body's own organs in autoimmune diseases actually belong to. T cells release certain messenger substances, known as cytokines, which in turn coordinate the appropriate immune response. Until now, the type of T-cell and, above all, the relevant cytokine that causes the inflammation in the brain and spinal cord were not known.

The research team of Professor Burkhard Becher has spent six years testing the relevant cytokines by a process of elimination in transgenic mouse models of multiple sclerosis. Over the years, they were able to cross many factors off the list before eventually hitting the jackpot with GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor). GM-CSF is produced by a newly discovered subclass of helper T cells. "The MS-like disease could not be induced in mice without GM-CSF," says Becher. "What's more, the disease could even be cured in MS mice if the cytokine was neutralized."

GM-CSF is not a new cytokine; we already knew that it can cause or aggravate inflammation. Apart from GM-CSF, however, all the other cytokines studied thus far only played a minor role. "GM-CSF is therefore the first T-cell cytokine that's essential for the initiation of an inflammatory reaction," says Becher. Furthermore, the researchers were able to demonstrate that the GM-CSF delivered to the brain by T cells activates the recruitment of tissue-damaging scavenger cells. "Without scavenger cells like these, the inflammation can't really get going in the first place and the neutralization of GM-CSF can even reverse the inflammatory process," says the immunologist.

Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are currently being treated with neutralizing antibodies against GM-CSF in a clinical trial. A trial with MS patients is due to begin at the end of 2011. "We're extremely hopeful," says Becher enthusiastically. "But whether this form of therapy will actually help MS patients remains to be seen. Quiet optimism is the way to go," he explains.

Irrespective of the clinical trial, the team expects the study to have a significant impact on basic and clinical research. "We're really making headway; we now understand much better how an inflammatory lesion can develop in the brain."


'/>"/>

Contact: Burkhard Becher
becher@immunology.uzh.ch
41-446-353-701
University of Zurich
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study finds more Americans bypassing their personal physician when immediate treatment required
2. De-Duplication, Compression and No Double Backups Required: AppAssure Releases the Fastest and Most Scalable Backup & Recovery Solution for Microsoft Hyper-V
3. Hopkins doctor/disaster expert says resource problems in Haiti required ethical decision-making
4. Signaling pathway reveals mechanism for B cell differentiation in immune response
5. Do Immune System Ills Help Drive Type 2 Diabetes?
6. New evidence that chronic ulcerative stomatitis is an autoimmune disease
7. A Pacman strategy to boost the immune system to fight cancer
8. Immune-Boost Treatment Might Help Some With Advanced Colon Cancer
9. Immune system may guide chemotherapy for breast cancer
10. NIH investigators find link between DNA damage and immune response
11. Case Western Reserve receives $1.6M to study tumor cells and immune cell detection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state ... procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. ... and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an ... Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile technology, ... , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can be ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their ... Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a ... the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Nevada (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Vegas client, The Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations ... in Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) ... health policy research organization as its newest member.  ... senior vice president and chief scientific officer, Mallinckrodt ... the NPC Board of Directors. ... has joined us in support of our efforts ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Delcath Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: DCTH ), a ... of primary and metastatic liver cancers, announces that the ... www.againsttheodds.eu - has been awarded a silver medal ... The website was developed as an education ... who are coping with the devastating diagnosis of cancer ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, ... 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to ... down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following equities: ... (NASDAQ: AMAG ), IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ADRO ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: