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C R Acad Sci III. 1996 Apr;319(4):343-50.

[Gliotoxic factor and multiple sclerosis].

[Article in French]

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INSERM U. 153, équipe de neurobiologie et de neuropathologie fondamentales, Paris, France.


Multiple sclerosis in a disease of the central nervous system characterized by perivascular and periventricular lesions of the myelin and immune cell infiltrates and increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier. We have found a cytotoxic factor of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specific for multiple sclerosis patients which has 2 main characteristic effects in vitro on primary or immortalized astrocyte cultures: (1) disruption of the gliofilament network of the cells; and (2) apoptotic cell death induction. Moreover, in vivo, intraventricular injections of minute amounts of partially purified gliotoxic factor in adult rats have striking effects on both the morphology and general organization of astrocytes in the entire brain and the permeability characteristics of the blood brain barrier, which becomes leaky to immunoglobulins. These pathological effects are strongly similar to some of the neuropathological findings reported during the course of MS--They suggest an entirely new hypothesis to explain the active stage of the disease: the presence of a new factor of unknown extrinsic (viral) or intrinsic (cellular) origin, able to disorganize the glial cytoskeleton and glial cell differentiation. This factor is then able to provoke glial cell death. Such glial cell death may result in both demyelination and increased blood brain barrier permeability. Both in vitro and in vivo studies strongly support the idea that this gliotoxic factor plays a central role in the pathogenesis of MS, making its full identification a critical theme for MS research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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