So far the cause of multiple sclerosis was unknown. Now researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany found a possible cause and a possible treatment.
Accidentally the researchers found a connection between the blood coagulation system and the immune system. The coagulation factor XII (FXII) seems to play an important role in the development of auto-immune disease multiple sclerosis. This approach is completely new and was never investigated before.
Accidental discovery in the laboratory – Cause of MS found
The blood level of FXII is extremely high in patients with MS during a relapse. The researchers found that FXII activates the immune system – especially the production of Interleukin-17A – which causes the symptoms of the auto-immune disease MS. Moreover the researchers could show that mice without the FXII gen showed less symptoms.
In a second step the researchers showed the effectiveness of a new treatment for multiple sclerosis. The protein Infestin-4 blocks FXII and thus reliefs MS symptoms, even if the disease was in a progressive state.
The researchers concluded: “Our study demonstrates that a member of the plasmatic coagulation cascade is a key mediator of autoimmunity. FXII inhibition may provide a strategy to combat MS and other immune-related disorders.”
However, Prof. Dr. Christoph Kleinschnitz, director of the institute, mentioned that it could take some time till the new treatment would be available.
Vitamin D plays a part in regulating the immune system in the human body. As Multiple Sclerosis is an immune disease, Vit D could have a protective/modulating effect that influences the disease positively. read more Multiple Sclerosis in UAE | Too Less Sun?
References:University of Duisburg