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Scientists find MS protection gene

Monday August 17th 2020

Swedish researchers have found a key gene that could help to prevent the progression of multiple sclerosis.

The gene, Gsta4, seems to protect oligodendrocytes from destruction, according to researchers at the Karolinska Institutet.

It is instrumental in enabling the cells to mature and heal in the early stages of disease – and is boosted by some of the drugs under development, according to the study reported in Nature Communications.

Studies on laboratory rats showed that high levels of the gene lead to the cells mature quickly. In an experimental model of MS, the researchers also found that high levels of the gene led to fast recovery from disease.

Researcher Karl Carlström said: “Taken together, our findings are particularly interesting for several reasons. Too little is known about the mechanisms behind progressive MS, by which I mean the phase of the disease in which oligodendrocytes and neurons in the brain die without re-forming.”

Gsta4 controls apoptosis of differentiating adult oligodendrocytes during homeostasis and remyelination via the mitochondria-associated Fas-Casp8-Bid-axis. Nature Communications 13 August 2020

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17871-5

Tags: Brain & Neurology | Europe | Genetics | Pharmaceuticals

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