Trends Mol Med. 2003 Dec;9(12):535-41
Lock CB, Heller RA.
Department of Neurology, Palo Alto Medical Clinic, 94301, Palo Alto, CA, USA
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease affecting central nervous system white matter.
The cause is unknown.
It is thought that environmental factors trigger an immune response against myelin antigens in a genetically susceptible individual.
The characteristic lesion of MS seen in the brain is a plaque, an area of inflammation, demyelination and glial reaction or 'sclerosis'.
Several recent studies have examined gene expression in MS plaques on a large scale using microarray technology.
The involvement of immune-related genes has been confirmed, and many new genes not previously associated with MS lesions have been identified.
Microarray studies are significant in identifying potential new targets for therapy.