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Scientific result | Autoimmune diseases
A SIMoS team, in collaboration with the SHFJ, NeuroSpin and the Butantan Institute, is highlighting, in an experimental model of multiple sclerosis, alterations of the peripheral nervous system, hitherto little documented.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease that occurs mostly in young adults. In France, 110,000 people are estimated to suffer from it with 4,000 to 6,000 new cases each year. MS is a demyelinating autoimmune disease: the immune system attacks certain peptides that make up myelin, causing it to be broken down and disrupting nerve messages. The main target of this process is the central nervous system (CNS). The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is also known to be affected but descriptions are still very limited.
Researchers from the Joliot Institute (SIMoS/DMTS, BAOBAB/NeuroSpin and BioMaps/SHFJ), in collaboration with the Butantan Institute of Sao Paulo (Brazil), studied alterations in the peripheral nervous system in a mouse model of MS. The model used (Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice) is the one that best reproduces the anatomical (CNS inflammation, demyelination of nerve fibers...) and behavioral alterations observed in humans. It is obtained by injecting an antigenic peptide derived from the MOG protein (Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein). Using a minimally invasive electrophysiology method, the researchers observe in vivo changes in the excitability of peripheral sensory and motor nerves in EAE individuals compared to a control group. These modifications correspond, on the one hand, to membrane hyperexcitability, likely related to membrane depolarization, and, on the other hand, to the presence of slow conducting sensory and motor nerve fibers, probably related to their demyelination. In parallel, the authors observed, by transmission electron microscopy, a decrease in the thickness of the myelin sheath of the sciatic nerves of EAE mice compared to the control group.
All the results, published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, tend to show that the immune dysfunction towards the MOG antigen observed in the EAE experimental model and in individuals with MS is attributed to the expression of this antigen not only in the CNS but also in the PNS.
Evelyne Benoît (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alterations of peripheral nerve excitability in
an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mouse model for multiple
sclerosis. | J of Neuroinflammation, 2020
N. Bernardes Teixeira, G. Picolo,
A.C. Giardini, F. Boumezbeur, G. Pottier, B. Kuhnast, D. Servent and
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.