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Monday, September 5, 2016

MS Relapses During Natalizumab Therapy Traced to Drug’s Greater Impact on Regulatory T-cells


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Natalizumab (Tysabri) harnesses multiple sclerosis (MS) activity by targeting CD49, a molecule on the surface of immune cells. Now, researchers found that the drug reduces the factor on regulatory T-cells to a greater extent than on inflammatory T-cells — a mechanism that might explain disease exacerbation during treatment.
The molecule under investigation in the study, CD49, is the main factor governing migration of immune cells to the central nervous system. By blocking its actions, natalizumab is highly effective in inducing MS remission. Some patients, however, experience relapses and disease progression while under treatment.
Natalizumab treatment does not necessarily block all CD49; earlier studies have shown that the antibody is able to bind between 60 percent and 100 percent of all available molecules. Scientists also do not understand how effective natalizumab treatment is in reducing CD49 on different types of immune T-cells.

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