Experiments on mice conducted at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have shown that an immune molecule called CXCL1 may help decreases the severity of multiple sclerosis-like disease.
Led by Dr. Cedric Raine, the study explored the expression of CXCL1 when it interacts with myelin-producing cells, and found that the severity of the disease is reduced in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS is an autoimmune disease, which attacks the central nervous system, resulting in demyelination of neurons. Myelin-producing cells in the central nervous system are severely depleted in lesions in patients with MS.
Although the role of CXCL1 in MS has not been previously explored, it's known that myelin-producing cells express immune receptors and respond to the immune molecule CXCL1.
For the study, the researchers examined the effects of CXCL1 specifically expressed in the nervous system in a mouse model of MS.
They found that severity of disease was decreased, and remyelination in the mice was more pronounced.
Based on their observations, the researchers came to the conclusion that CXCL1 might ay play a neuroprotective role in CNS autoimmune demyelination.
The researchers are currently planning to find out how CXCL1 mediates protection in MS.
"Exploration of these pathways affords novel therapeutic avenues to enhance the limited remyelination typically seen in MS," Science Daily quoted Raine as saying.