Myelin-Making Cells May Act Up in the MS Immune Response, Says New Research
November 20, 2018
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm report that cells that make nerve-insulating myelin, which is targeted by damaging immune attacks in multiple sclerosis, may in some circumstances actually participate in those immune attacks. Studying mice with an MS-like disease, and brain tissue obtained from people with MS, the team found that in disease conditions the myelin-making cells, called oligodendrocytes, are instructed by some of the same genes that direct immune cells. Rather than just making myelin, these oligodendrocytes may help to activate or promote the immune response that results in damage in MS. For this study, the team used novel genetics technology that allowed them to analyze the genetic activity within a single cell. Understanding these new findings might lead to new ways to protect the nervous system and resume normal repair mechanisms in people with MS.
Read more from KI News
Read the scientific summary in Nature Medicine