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The balancing act between protection and inflammation in MS
Date:2/17/2012

in the laboratory by award winning PhD student Mukanthu Nyirenda under the supervision of Dr Gran in the Division of Clinical Neurology. The research was funded by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Last year Mukanthu received the University Endowed Postgraduate Prize in recognition of the progress he has made with his research. He is also a previous recipient of a Jacqueline Du Pre' Award of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation.

Mukanthu said: "This publication is a very important part of the work leading to my doctoral dissertation, planned for 2012. I am grateful for the recognition and support given to me by the University with the Endowed Postgraduate Prize."

The study was carried out in collaboration with Professor Cris Constantinescu and other researchers at The University of Nottingham and experts at McGill University in Montreal.

Flirting with the enemy

The research team also found that when stimulated by molecules that activate TLRs, regulatory T cells become themselves functionally more similar to inflammatory T cells, another reason why autoimmune reactions could occur in relation to infections.

Although this part of the study focussed on healthy subjects, ongoing studies in Dr Gran's laboratory are comparing the properties of regulatory T cells in these people with those obtained from patients with MS. Other researchers have previously found that Tregs may in fact be defective in MS patients, and this study contributes to our understanding of how episodes of infections, known to influence the clinical course of MS, could in certain circumstances promote the occurrence of autoimmunity.


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Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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