Researchers from the University of Alberta have identified a new approach for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) by reducing inflammation in the brain, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.
Currently, most treatments for MS target the immune system to reduce brain inflammation. However, stronger medications suppress the immune system which causes some patients to experience major side effects. For the study, scientists analyzed granzyme B as a possible enzyme target to reduce inflammation, without significantly suppressing the immune system. They found that by suppressing granzyme B through a recent agent called serpina3n, they were able to significantly reduce the progression of MS symptoms in pre-clinical and human models.
Targeting granzyme B can block the damage that “induces the neurodegeneration in this disease, and the neurodegeneration strongly correlates with the disability,” explained senior author Fabrizio Giuliani. “The body’s inflammatory response is minimally impacted.” By targeting the early stages of brain inflammation in patients with MS, the disease progression can be slowed, Giuliani explained.
Researchers are looking to prepare trials using human analogues of serpina3n that will further demonstrate the affects of granzyme B inhibition in MS patients. Neuroprotection may decrease the rate of disability that is tied to brain inflammation in patients with MS.
For more information visit med.ualberta.ca.