Researchers have found that Migration/Macrophage Inhibitory factor (MIF) which is an immune cell responsible for progression of Multiple Sclerosis. This new pathway can be used in finding drugs which reduces the amount of MIF in a way progression of Multiple Sclerosis is hindered.
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease which is caused by non-recognizing of its own body cells by the immune system leading to an immune response of activating immune cells against the body’s own cells. In Multiple Sclerosis the immune cells produces an immune response against the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord and enables them to transmit impulses. MS shows a pattern of remission and relapse with no warning as to when a relapse will occur.
Migration Inhibiton Factor – Multiple Sclerosis:
Professor Caroline Whitacre and team from Ohio State University have found that Migration/Macrophage Inhibition Factor stimulates a chain of reactions that lead to the production of inflammation-producing chemicals. Conversely, lack of MIF seems to trigger the release of other immune system chemicals that block inflammation.
Researchers are confident that blocking the molecule macrophage migration inhibitory factor it will be possible for treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.
Professor Caroline Whitacre said, "Our results suggest that MIF may be less important for initiating MS, but that it may be necessary for MS progression and the levels of MIF can be used as an indicator of multiple sclerosis disease progression. But more importantly, perhaps this study will lead to drugs that can halt the course of MS by blocking the action of MIF."
Mike O'Donovan, chief executive Multiple Sclerosis Society said, "The possibility that a way might be found to stop MS in its tracks is obviously encouraging and needs investigating further.
Helen Yates, Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre said, "Whilst this study is only at the animal model stage, the identification of this potential gene factor in relation to MS is extremely interesting and offers great hope for the future."
Source: BBC News.
Submitted 11/5/2005 6:41:28 PM