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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Researchers Discover New Immunosuppressive Cells in MS Patients that inhibit EAE

Posted by: Mike Winters                                    - Feb 21, 2014

hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Researchers have identified a new type of white blood cell that can suppress T-cell hyperactivity in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model used to study multiple sclerosis (MS) and other human diseases that affect the central nervous system. Moreover, the group found that these blood cells were prominent in patients who responded to interferon-beta (IFN-β) treatment for MS. The results were published in the journal Nature Medicine on February 16, 2014.
The defective generation or function of white blood cells called regulatory T-cells (T-reg cells) in autoimmune disease contribute to chronic inflammation found in diseases such as MS, EAE, and various types of tissue injury.  Yawei Liu, and co-workers at BRIC, the University of Copenhagen, have discovered a group of T-cells that after ectopic expression of the FoxA1 gene, confer suppressive properties in a newly identified T-reg cell population named FoxA1+ T-reg cells. Development of these FoxA1+ T-reg cells occurs primarily in the central nervous system in response to autoimmune inflammation.  The group discovered that ectopic FoxA1 expression generates FoxA1+ T-reg cells that suppress T-cells by inducing activated apoptosis, programmed cell death. The FoxA1+ T-reg cells were adoptively transferred in mice and showed to inhibit EAE.  The researchers also found that the development of FoxA1+ T-reg cells is induced by the cytokine, IFN-β, and requires IFN-α/β receptor (Ifnar) signaling. This was concluded because the frequency of FoxA1+ T-reg cells was reduced in mice lacking the receptor.  Lastly, Yawei Liu, and co-workers discovered that patients with relapsing-remitting MS who exhibited a clinical response to treatment with IFN-β were associated with an increased frequency of the newly discovered FoxA1+ T-reg cells in the blood.

Source: BioNews

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