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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2012 Dec;68(6):456-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2012.01170.x. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Pregnancy and multiple sclerosis (MS): a beneficial association. Possible therapeutic application of embryo-specific pre-implantation factor (PIF*).

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Yale Women and Children's Center for Blood Disorders, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


A typical autoimmune neuro-inflammatory disease (NID), multiple sclerosis (MS), is more prevalent in women than in men. Majority of patients with MS are of child-bearing age; therefore, occurrence in pregnancy is common. Herein, we review proposed disease mechanisms and suggest therapeutic interventions, focusing on the remarkable pregnancy-induced protection against MS - insofar considered as best, albeit temporary therapy for such harsh NID. Current drugs used for MS therapy in pregnancy are described. Role of non-pregnancy-specific agents considered involved in amelioration of disease is also presented. This review highlights pregnancy-derived neuro-protective agents, proposing that unique pregnancy-induced immune-protective environment is because of the conceptus and its direct action. The essential role of pre-implantation factor (PIF) in pregnancy is delineated. Finally, PIF immune-modulatory effects and efficacy in chronic model of neuro-inflammation to reduce inflammation and paralysis coupled with neural regeneration is presented. Overall, we postulate that this embryo-derived-compound holds great promise to improve MS and possibly neuro-inflammation in general.

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