These cells are activated when interacting with a foreign protein fragments.
Scientists have discovered a molecule that provokes the immune system to attack its own nervous system in multiple sclerosis. In this disease the protective system of the body perceives this conventional molecule as a threat. The results presented in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
It is known that in multiple sclerosis the lymphocytes – immune system cells to attack neurons and cause demyelination, that is, damage to the myelin sheath of nerve fibers of the Central nervous system. Usually these cells are activated when interacting with a foreign protein fragments (antigens), but in multiple sclerosis act abnormally. However, before the scientists could not figure out what the molecule react lymphocytes.
In the new work, scientists from Switzerland, USA and Spain studied T-lymphocytes of a patient who died of multiple sclerosis. They tested the action of T-lymphocytes in the 200 mixtures of potential antigens, each of which contained 300 billion in options. Two substances that cause the most severe reactions, turned out to be portion of the human enzyme guanosine diphosphate-L-fucos synthase (GDP-l-fucose synthase) which is involved in many processes ranging from memory formation to determine the blood group. Additionally, the scientists tested cells of 31 patients with early symptoms or is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In 12 cases of T-lymphocytes also respond to this enzyme.
In the brain there is a lot of this connection, but nobody had the slightest idea that it is associated with multiple sclerosis. Based on the open you can develop treatments to at least alleviate symptoms of diseases such as numbness and muscle weakness. This therapy is mechanism of action recall allergen-specific immunotherapy, which is used to fight allergies. The authors plan to begin the first tests of the treatment in the next year.