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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Vaccination prevents multiple sclerosis in animal model;

Protection from the own immune system

Vaccination prevents multiple sclerosis in animal model; Heidelberg researchers publish in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Some 80,000 people in Germany suffer from multiple sclerosis – their immune system attacks and destroys healthy nerve tissue. Researchers at the Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have succeeded in vaccinating mice with specially treated, autologous immune cells and preventing them from developing encephalitis, which is similar to multiple sclerosis in humans. A protein of the nervous system, that is the target of the harmful immune reaction in multiple sclerosis, was placed on the surface of the cells; the cells were treated with an agent that suppresses immune defense.

The Heidelberg researchers have published their results – initially online – in the prestigious journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA".

The team around Professor Dr. Peter Terness is working in the Department of Transplantation Immunology (Director: Professor Dr. Gerhard Opelz) of the Institute of Immunology at the Heidelberg University Hospital. Professor Terness and his colleagues work primarily on developing methods to prevent rejection of donor organs without impairing the immune system.

Above found at Eureka Alerts on Nov 28, 2008

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