More MS news articles for August 2002

Retinoic acid promotes the development of Th2-like human myelin basic protein-reactive T cells

Cell Immunol 2002 Jan;215(1):54-60
Lovett-Racke AE, Racke MK.
Department of Neurology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, 75390-9036, Dallas, TX, USA

To determine if retinoids might be beneficial in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), all-trans-retinoic acid (tRA) was tested for its effects on proliferation and cytokine expression in human autoreactive T cells.

tRA decreased human lymphocyte proliferation in vitro in a dose-dependent manner.

In addition, tRA induced IL-4 gene expression in myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific T cell lines which had previously expressed a Th1-like phenotype.

MBP-specific T cell lines generated in the presence of tRA had a Th2-like phenotype.

Retinoids have previously been shown to have a similar effect on encephalitogenic T cells in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE; an animal model for MS) and treatment of EAE with retinoids stabilizes the disease.

Since several oral retinoids have been shown to be safe in humans, retinoids may be beneficial in the treatment of MS.