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Trends Immunol. 2002 Nov;23(11):512-6.

Growth factor treatment of demyelinating disease: at last, a leap into the light.

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Depts of Neurosciences and Nerology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, OH 44195, USA.


Researchers seeking treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) have long dreamed of using neurotrophic factors to enhance remyelination. Previous attempts to apply trophic support for oligodendrocytes in experimental demyelination uniformly produced complicated outcomes that reflected unexpected effects on immune or inflammatory responses and could be interpreted only with caution. Now, two recent publications have demonstrated convincingly that cytokines of the interleukin (IL)-6 superfamily can ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and promote oligodendrocyte survival, without demonstrable effect on inflammation or immune responses.

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