Novel Research Model Offers Hope to ALS and MS Patients

04:14 EDT 17 Apr 2018 | Genetic Engineering News

Scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden say they have developed a new disease model for neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS’ that can be used to develop new immunotherapies. The model is described in a paper (“ Fatal demyelinating disease is induced by monocyte-derived macrophages in the absence of TGF-β signaling ”) in Nature Immunology“The cytokine transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) regulates the development and homeostasis of several tissue-resident macrophage populations, including microglia. TGF-β is not critical for microglia survival but is required for the maintenance of the microglia-specific homeostatic gene signature. Under defined host conditions, circulating monocytes can compete for the microglial niche and give rise to long-lived monocyte-derived macrophages residing in the central nervous system (CNS). Whether monocytes require TGF-β for colonization of the microglial niche and maintenance of CNS integrity is unknown,” write the investigators. “We found that abrogation of TGF-βsignaling in CX3CR1+ monocyte-derived macrophages led ...

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