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Mult Scler. 2015 Sep;21(10):1223-38. doi: 10.1177/1352458515581441. Epub 2015 Apr 28.

The re-emergence of antigen-specific tolerance as a potential therapy for MS.

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Stanford University Medical Center, CA, USA


Ideal therapy for inflammatory disease in the nervous system would preserve normal immune function, while suppressing only the pathologic immune responses that damage tissue and allowing for repair. In principle, antigen-specific therapy would eradicate unwanted adaptive immune responses-antibody and T-cell mediated--while preserving the integrity of other adaptive responses to infectious agents and retaining the ability to fight malignancy. However, at this time, for multiple sclerosis (MS) we do not have compelling evidence that would support any particular dominant immune response to any specific antigen or even a limited group of antigens. In fact, there are adaptive immune responses to a wide swathe of proteins and lipids found on neurons and myelin in MS. Unless controlling a few of the known immune responses is sufficient, antigen-specific therapy in MS may not have enough of an impact to modulate clinical outcome. However, in other neuroinflammatory conditions, such as neuromyelitis optica, the adaptive immune response is highly focused. Trials of antigen-specific therapy for neuroinflammatory disease might first be tested in diseases with a more limited adaptive immune response like neuromyelitis optica. The likelihood of a significant success for this therapeutic strategy might then ensue.


Immunology; multiple sclerosis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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