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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Study Detailing New Way T-cells Attack Myelin May Explain Why Some MS Therapies Fail


                                                                  
  

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In a new and possibly important insight into the workings of the immune system, researchers discovered what it takes for T-cells to start targeting myelin sheets in multiple sclerosis (MS). The findings may also explain why some drugs fail to prevent autoimmunity in MS.
In earlier studies, the research team at Technical University of Munich(TUM) in Germany showed that the immune mediator IL-6 was part of the machinery that instructed T-cells (of a type called Th17) to attack myelin.
When T-cells are formed, they travel to lymph nodes throughout the body and wait for signals to act. Another immune cell — the dendritic cell — is crucial in telling the T-cells where their work is needed. This is done by presenting bits of the invader that the body wants to get rid of.
Most often, these are bits of bacteria or a virus. But in people with MS, dendritic cells wrongfully bring pieces of myelin to the T-cells. The TUM research team discovered that T-cells did not attack the myelin until an IL-6 signal was present.
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