Therapeutic Avenues for Multiple Sclerosis Through Immune Cell Communication: Jeffrey Huang, PhD

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The associate professor of biology at Georgetown University talked about how immune cells can communicate with brain cells to enhance repair processes, which may offer potential treatment targets for multiple sclerosis. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"We believe that targeting amino acid transport in multiple sclerosis may potentially influence the lesion microenvironment in the brain and enable a more efficient remyelination process in patients with multiple sclerosis."

Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an immune-mediated disease, is characterized by infiltration of autoreactive T cells into the central nervous system (CNS) which can contribute to inflammation and demyelination. Further, chronic demyelination in MS may lead to axonal damage and progressive neurodegeneration. Research shows that the large amino acid transporter 1, also known as Slc7a5, can control immune cell metabolism and differentiation yet there is limited study of its role in MS. In a recent study, investigators examined CD4 T cell-specific Slc7a5 loss of function through a generated a CD4-Cre; Slc7a5f/f mouse line, using the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mice model.

Using the mouse models, preliminary data showed that the mice who underwent myelin oligodendrocyte protein mediated EAE induction did not develop clinical compared with control mice. Overall, the results suggest that Slc7a5 is a potential novel immunomodulatory target for reducing or preventing inflammation in the CNS during demyelination in MS. These findings were presented at the 2024 Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum, February 29 to March 2, by senior author Jeffrey Huang, PhD, associate professor of biology at Georgetown University, and colleagues.

At the forum, he also presented a talk on immune barriers to remyelination in a session on barriers to neural repair in MS. Following the session, Huang sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss how microglial activation states influence oligodendrocyte regeneration in demyelinating injuries. He also talked about the key findings regarding amino acid transport inhibition and its effect on microglial activation in the repair process. Additionally, Huang spoke about how this research aims to translate findings from preclinical models to potential therapeutic interventions for MS.

Click here for more coverage of ACTRIMS 2024.

REFERENCES
1. Cozart M, Hu J, Baydyuk M, Huang JK. Investigating the Role of Slc7a5 Amino Acid Transporter in CD4+ T Cells Using a Mouse Model of Multiple Sclerosis. Presented at ACTRIMS Forum 2024; February 29 to March 2; West Palm Beach, Florida. P289.
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