J Neurotrauma. 2003 Jun;20(6):559-69
Kipnis J, Nevo U, Panikashvili D, Alexandrovich A, Yoles E, Akselrod S, Shohami E, Schwartz M.
Department of Neurobiology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.
Closed head injury often has a devastating outcome, partly because the insult, like other injuries to the central nervous system (CNS), triggers self-destructive processes.
During studies of the response to other CNS insults, it was unexpectedly discovered that the immune system, if well controlled, provides protection against self-destructive activities.
Here we show that in mice with closed head injury, the immune system plays a key role in the spontaneous recovery.
Strain-related differences were observed in the ability to harness a T cell-dependent protective mechanism against the effects of the injury.
We further show that the trauma-induced deficit could be reduced, both functionally and anatomically, by post-traumatic vaccination with Cop-1, a synthetic copolymer used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis and found (using a different treatment protocol) to effectively counteract the loss of neurons caused by axonal injury or glutamate-induced toxicity.
We suggest that a compound such as Cop-1 can be safely developed as a therapeutic vaccine to boost the body's immune repair mechanisms, thereby providing multifactorial protection against the consequences of brain trauma.