Dr. Vittorio Gallo, director at Center for Neuroscience Research at Children’s National Medical System, and fellow researchers were able to identify a molecule, Endothelin-1 (ET-1), as what inhibits the repair of myelin and believe they can find a way to ‘target’ this protein to stimulate the repairing of the sheathe. [see summary]
Myelin is an electrical insulator that covers the axon of the neuron[s] in the central nervous system (CN), which include the brain and spinal cord, and it helps increase the speed of the impulses. This is what multiple sclerosis (MS) attacks and damages causing the incredible number of symptoms patients will feel.
It is also what Dr. Gallo and laboratory members directed their attention to and are currently moving on with the next step: “They are currently analyzing ET-receptor B knock-out mutants to determine which ET receptor subtype is involved in the biological effects observed.”
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Finding ways to repair the myelin that MS destroys is a fairly new path, in that it has been in only the last few years that findings have been coming out; scientists and researchers have taken in trying to stop the progression .
The conclusions have been pretty exciting though. From the use of stem cells to repair myelin in 2010 to using “regeneration” in 2013, there has been a lot of thought given to using this type of avenue in fighting this disease.
Dr. Gallo said, “We demonstrate that ET-1 drastically reduces the rate of remyelination. This creates a new drug target in the treatment of MS [as] ET-1 is “potentially a therapeutic target to promote lesion repair in deymyelinated tissue.”
For more info: for those who live in Lima, Ohio, the Northwestern Ohio MS Chapter can be reached at: 401 Tomahawk Drive, Maumee, OH at (419) 897-7263. They are located approximately an hour and a half from Lima, Ohio and 45 minutes from Findlay, Ohio. For directions please click here at Google Maps
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Sources: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002261.htm; https://www.childrensnational.org/research/faculty/bios/cnr/Gallo_v.aspx; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0896627313010830 , Astrocyte-Derived Endothelin-1 Inhibits Remyelination through Notch Activation Timothy R. Hammond, Ana Gadea, Jeff Dupree, Christophe Kerninon, Brahim Nait-Oumesmar, Adan Aguirre, Vittorio Gallo; http://bionews-tx.com/news/2014/02/11/targeting-et-1-may-reverse-myelin-deterioration-in-multiple-sclerosis/