More MS news articles for April 2002

Inhibition of Rho GTPases with Protein Prenyltransferase Inhibitors Prevents Leukocyte Recruitment to the Central Nervous System and Attenuates Clinical Signs of Disease in an Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis

J Immunol 2002 Apr 15;168(8):4087-4094
Walters CE, Pryce G, Hankey DJ, Sebti SM, Hamilton AD, Baker D, Greenwood J, Adamson P.
Department of Cell Biology, Institute of Ophthalmology, and Neuroinflammation Group, Department of Neurochemistry, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, United Kingdom. Drug Discovery Program, Departments of Oncology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612. Department of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520.

The ICAM-1-mediated brain endothelial cell (EC)-signaling pathway induced by adherent lymphocytes is a central element in facilitating lymphocyte migration through the tight endothelial barrier of the brain.

Rho proteins, which must undergo posttranslational prenylation to be functionally active, have been shown to be an essential component of this signaling cascade.

In this study, we have evaluated the effect of inhibiting protein prenylation in brain ECs on their ability to support T lymphocyte migration.

ECs treated in vitro with protein prenylation inhibitors resulted in a significant reduction in transendothelial T lymphocyte migration.

To determine the therapeutic potential of this approach, an animal model of multiple sclerosis, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, was induced in Biozzi ABH mice.

Animals treated before disease onset with protein prenylation inhibitors exhibited a dramatic and significant reduction in both leukocyte infiltration into the CNS and clinical presentation of disease compared with untreated animals.

These studies demonstrate, for the first time, the potential for pharmacologically targeting CNS EC signaling responses, and particularly endothelial Rho proteins, as a means of attenuating leukocyte recruitment to the CNS.