January 12th, 2004
Boston Cure Project
CD100, a protein in the "semaphorin" class, is released by lymphocytes and other cells and is known to play a role in B and T cell activation. It has also been shown to inhibit axonal growth. Scientists exploring a possible role for this molecule in neuroinflammatory diseases like MS demonstrated using cell cultures that CD100 released by activated T cells can harm immature neurons and oligodendrocytes. In these cultures, the presence of CD100 resulted in the death of both neural precursors and immature oligodendrocytes, as well as collapse of the oligodendrocytes' process extensions (branches). The scientists also detected the presence of CD100-producing T cells as well as CD100 itself in the cerebrospinal fluid and spinal cord of people with inflammatory demyelinating diseases. They suggest that the release of CD100 by activated T cells in the CNS may play a role in demyelination and inadequate remyelination in MS and similar diseases.
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