AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


The Innate Immune System Modulates the Severity of Multiple Sclerosis

According to a study recently published in the journal Nature Immunology, autoimmune T-cells are lured into the nervous system by monocytes and macrophages, causing the inflammation that permanently damages the myelin sheath and nerve fibers, resulting in multiple sclerosis (MS). “Our results show that macrophages and monocytes actively participate in the initiation and progression of multiple sclerosis, which has long been considered a primarily T cell driven disease,” says the study’s senior author. “They exacerbate the severity of the disease by sending out chemical signals that boost inflammation and attract autoimmune T cells to the central nervous system.” By revealing the molecular mechanisms that control neuro-inflammation, these findings add a new layer of complexity to understanding multiple sclerosis and they support the growing appreciation of the significance of the crosstalk between the peripheral immune system and the brain. The results of the study also open up new avenues for potential multiple sclerosis therapies via manipulating the levels of immune regulators that contribute to inflammation in the central nervous system. To read more about this study, click here.

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