In a rare glimpse inside a diseased brain, researchers watch for the first time as immune cells directly attack neurons in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Published this week in linkurl:Immunity,; the surprising role of T helper cells in neurodegeneration may provide a novel therapeutic target for blocking neuron dysfunction in patients with MS.
Brain with MS lesions
U.S. Brookhaven National Laboratory,
linkurl:Wikimedia Commons;
"It's a beautiful paper," said linkurl:Howard Gendelman,; chair of the department of pharmacology and experimental neuroscience at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, who was not involved in the research. "Axonal degeneration is a big part of MS, but nobody knew until this paper what the mechanism was." MS was first described as a demyelinating disease in which immune cells in the brain attack the protective myelin sheath around axons, tearing it apart and slowing or stopping nerve signals, leading to muscle...
Journal of ImmunologyV. Siffrin, et al., "In vivo imaging of partially reversible Th17 cell-induced neuronal dysfunction in the course of encephalomyelitis," Immunity, 32(4):424-36, 2010.

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