Navigation Links
Medical researchers ID potential new drug target that could stop debilitating effects of MS
Date:10/26/2011

Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a potential new drug target for Multiple Sclerosis that could prevent physical disability associated with the disease, once a new drug is developed.

In the first phase of MS, those with the condition have lots of inflammation of their brain cells, resulting in continuous cycles of inflammation attacks followed by recovery periods. In the second phase of the disease, the inflammation isn't as severe, but this is the stage where physical disability sets in due to the effects from substantial numbers of brain cells being killed in the first phase of the disease.

When immune cells become active due to inflammation, they can pass through the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system. Some of these activated immune cells secrete a molecule, known as granzyme B, that can get inside neurons and wreak havoc ultimately causing brain cell death. Granzyme B is found in MS brain lesions especially in the early stages of inflammation. This molecule can get into brain cells through a "gatekeeper," known as receptor M6PR.

Researchers with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry discovered in lab experiments that if they prevent this granzyme B from entering neurons, "we can also prevent the killing of neurons," says principal investigator Fabrizio Giuliani, whose work was recently published in the peer-reviewed publication, The Journal of Immunology.

"It is this loss of brain cells, in the long-term, which induces disability in those with MS," he says. "This is a new drug target for MS that is specific for the neurodegenerative processes following inflammation."

Giuliani, a researcher in the Division of Neurology and a practising neurologist, noted this latest research builds on previous findings by his colleagues within the faculty. Medical researcher and co-author Chris Bleackley made an earlier discovery about how granzyme B enters target cells through the receptor M6PR. Another faculty researcher discovered that the M6PR receptor is found mostly in neurons.

"We were just connecting the dots and said: 'OK, if this receptor is expressed in neurons specifically and not expressed in other cells, is it possible that this is the mechanism that allows this granzyme B to get into human neurons and start killing brain cells? What we found out is yes, this death receptor allows this specific molecule to get in. If you block the receptor, you also block the neurotoxic effect in neurons. This is an excellent example of collaboration with other researchers and translational research."

Many existing MS treatments primarily target brain inflammation, which is very effective in the first phase of the disease but not as helpful once patients reach the second phase. Giuliani says what is needed are new medications that can either repair inflamed brain cells or prevent brain degeneration in the first place. This newly discovered drug target could open the door to new medications that do just that prevent brain cell death in the early stages of the disease.

Giuliani adds that with this drug target, only a specific function of a cell would be blocked, not multiple functions of a cell. Many medications currently on the market block multiple functions of a specific type of cell. "We are blocking a specific function, not multiple pathways and eventually this strategy could reduce the side effects of new drugs," he notes.

Giuliani and his fellow researchers are continuing their work in this area.


'/>"/>

Contact: Raquel Maurier
raquel.maurier@ualberta.ca
780-492-5986
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. TheReliefPlace.com Launches Online Store “The Relief Shop” - What Does this Medical Supply Store Carry and How Can They Help You?
2. Medical Transcription Services and EHR Provider MxSecure Launches New Enhanced Website with Goal of Improved Physician Productivity
3. Medical Training School, Pima Medical Institute Offering First Bachelor's Degree Program
4. FDA Seeks Reduction in Radiation From Medical Scans
5. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
6. University of Virginia Health System Medical Laboratories Selects Sunquest's Specimen Collection Solution
7. Medical Imaging Northwest Completes Phase I of Its Healthcare IT Integration to Maintain Patient Care Improvements
8. Centene Corporation Hosts Medical Management Systems Update in New York City
9. CelebrityDiagnosis.com Nominated as Best New Medical Blog of 2009
10. Medical Malpractice Survivors Urge President Obama to Keep Tort Reform out of Health Insurance Bill
11. Tufts Medical Center and Boston Medical Center Nurses Hold a Joint Informational Picket to Protest Unsafe Staffing and Practice Conditions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 ... ... provider of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by ... (EATS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many ... sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical ... Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. ... honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events ... Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the ... The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, and the Cancer Patient ... aspects of cancer patient education, today announce a new strategic alliance. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/23/2017)... -- Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced today that it ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Biologics License ... of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The ... to further evaluate the safety of sirukumab in the ... "We are disappointed by ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy that ... developments today:   ... ... Tom Tefft ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D and ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, ... of bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced ... influenza A (H7N9) vaccine. ... to seasonal influenza and presents a challenge ... prior exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: