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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Aug;1053:48-54.

A role for calpain in optic neuritis.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology/Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, 96 Jonathan Lucus Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.


Optic neuritis (ON) is one of the most commonly presenting symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), which is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS) thought to be caused by an attack on myelin by autoreactive T cells and other immune cells. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely used model for MS and ON, which are characterized by demyelination, axonal damage, and neuronal death. The mechanisms of neurodegeneration are unclear; however, the calcium (Ca2+)-dependent neutral protease calpain is thought to be involved. The focus of this article is to summarize the evidence suggesting that calpain plays a role in the development of EAE-ON in Lewis rats.

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