Can myelin repair be improved by controlling one molecule?

In MS, some immune cells mistakenly attack myelin around nerve cells, which causes inflammation and leaves nerves vulnerable to damage. But, some immune cells are involved in decreasing inflammation and some in myelin repair.

New treatments could encourage these beneficial cells, but we need to understand much more about the process involved.

About the project

In this one-year project, the researchers will focus on two types of immune cells. These cells are important in inflammation and in myelin repair. The team want to investigate one particular molecule, called AIM-2, which they think can control both types of immune cells.

They’ll look at the cells in the brains of mice with an MS-like condition. Some of the mice don’t have the molecule AIM-2. So they’ll compare how well myelin is repaired when AIM-2 is present and when it’s missing, to understand what it’s doing in the MS brain.

They’re also using a special technique which allows them to do multiple tests with one brain, reducing the number of mice needed.

How will it help people with MS?

The researchers want to use the knowledge from this study to find the best way to control the two types of immune cells. In the future, this could lead to new ways to enhance myelin repair.

The difference you can make

The race is on to find treatments that will slow or even stop disability progression in MS. By donating to the MS Society you will be supporting innovative projects like this.