Could the Innate Immune System Provide a Pathway to Treat PPMS?

By Annette M. Boyle, Contributor
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The adaptive immune system is known to play a critical role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS).

A Canadian research team sought to discover how the innate immune system, particularly the dendritic cells (DC), natural killer (NK) cells and surface markers for autoimmunity, such as CD30, affected the course of the disease. They will present the results of their study on October 26 at the 2017 European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) annual meeting in Paris (poster 461).

Dendritic cell. (Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH))

The researchers hypothesized that CD30 and CD153 (a CD30 ligand) expression would differ between patients with primary progressive MS (PPMS) and relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), based on the higher degree of degeneration associated with PPMS and the role of inflammation in RRMS.

The study enrolled 20 MS patients, 10 with RRMS in relapse and 10 with PPMS, and 26 controls. RRMS patients were either treatment naïve (7) or on first-line therapy (3). The researchers stained the whole blood samples from participants with antibodies to identify myeloid DC, plasmacytoid DC, monocytes and NK cells. Flow cytometry was used to detect CD30 and CD153.

The investigators found that patients with PPMS had a higher number of dendritic cells of both types and natural killer cells expressing CD30 and CD153 that patients with RRMS or healthy controls. The results suggest that the innate immune system may be regulated differently in PPMS and that CD30/CD153 could be potentially effective treatment targets for this type of MS.

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