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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cellular Target Opens New Pathway For Multiple Sclerosis Therapy

Dr. Vittorio Gallo PhD Center for Neuroscience Research Children’s Research Institute Children’s National Medical Center Washington, DC 20010
Dr. Vittorio Gallo
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Vittorio Gallo PhD

Center for Neuroscience Research
Children’s Research Institute
Children’s National Medical Center
Washington, DC 20010
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. GalloAstrocytes are cells in the central nervous system (CNS) that provide nutrients, recycle neurotransmitters, and help maintain homeostasis. In many neurodegenerative disorders – including multiple sclerosis  (MS) –astrocytes undergo a cellular and biochemical transformation called reactive gliosis. This process significantly impacts – both positively and negatively – neural regeneration. Reactive astrocytes (RAs) synthesize and release a peptide called Endothelin-1 (ET-1). Gallo and his team previously demonstrated that ET-1 is expressed at high levels by RAs in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions and that – in animal models of MS – this peptide inhibits repair by delaying oligodendrocyte maturation and remyelination. 
The main finding of the study published in Cell Reports is the identification of the cellular and molecular pathway that mediates the inhibitory effects of ET-1 on oligodendrocyte regeneration and remyelinaton in demyelinated lesions. In particular – by using pharmacological and genetic approaches – the study demonstrates that the ET-1 acts selectively through the ET-receptor B (ENDRB) on astrocytes – and not oligodendrocytes – to indirectly inhibit remyelination.
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