Do microglia immune cells produce useful targets for myelin repair?

Microglia cells

Dr Veronique Miron

Edinburgh University


About the project

In MS the protective myelin coating around nerve cells is damaged and needs to be repaired by the body. As MS progresses, myelin repair becomes less efficient and damage accumulates, meaning that nerves don't function properly.

Previous work has shown that a type of immune cell in the brain, called microglia, can produce proteins and other molecules that promote myelin repair, but how many of these ‘factors’ work is not yet known. This project will investigate recently discovered factors produced by microglia and identify which are important in promoting myelin repair in MS.

We will explore how these factors work by identifying how they change the behaviour of the oligodendrocyte cells that repair myelin. We will look for these factors in brain tissue samples from the UK MS Society Tissue Bank and test candidate factors in a mouse model of MS.

How will it help people with MS?

Identifying targets that promote myelin repair is the first step to developing new treatments for all forms of MS. Finding factors involved in remyelination paves the way for developing new strategies to slow or stop the worsening of disability that results from nerve damage in MS.

The difference you can make

There are currently no strategies to slow progression in MS. Supporting research like this helps to bring us closer to reaching this goal.

The next research breakthrough is in reach

Your donation will help stop MS.

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    Our minimum donation is £2, please enter a different amount.

£30could process one blood sample, giving researchers crucial information about genes and the immune system.

£50could pay for an hour on a microscope, so scientists can study cells and tissue in greater detail and improve their understanding of the biology of MS.

£100could pay for half an hour of MRI use, so researchers can monitor the success of clinical trials and understand MS in more detail.

Every penny you give really does take us a step closer to stopping MS. Your donation will make a difference.

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    Our minimum donation is £2, please enter a different amount.

£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS

£20a month could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying genetics

£30a month could process a blood sample to help us understand what causes MS, so we can stop it in its tracks

Your regular donation means we can keep funding world class MS research with confidence. Together we will stop MS.

MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette