Scientists studying mice with a multiple sclerosis–like autoimmune disorder have found a way to selectively decrease the pathogenic immune response in these animals, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.
In patients with multiple sclerosis, T cells inappropriately attack the myelin that protects neurons and may result in progressive neurologic symptoms. Currently, many treatments for such disorders work by nonselectively down-regulating immune function. But this can leave patients vulnerable to complications, such as infection, so scientists have been seeking ways to selectively turn down aberrant immune activity.
Kuehn BM. Tackling Autoimmunity. JAMA. 2012;308(24):2557. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.156146