Nlrx1 agit comme un inhibiteur endogène de la sclérose en plaques


Gharagozloo Marjan

Université de Sherbrooke


Domaine : Maladies infectieuses et immunitaires

Programme : Formation de doctorat

Concours 2017-2018


Société canadienne de la sclérose en plaques

The immune system is a rich network of cells, tissues, and organs that helps to protect the body from bacteria, viruses, fungal infections, and parasites. Also, it is responsible for clearance of various products of metabolism and maintenance of homeostasis. The regulation of immune response is a key factor in many diseases including autoimmune diseases that arise from an abnormal immune response against body's own tissues. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease when different cell of central nervous system are attacked by activated immune cells including T cells. T cells recognize proteins in the myelin sheath that covers long projection of nerve cells (called axon), thus impeding axonal conductance. T cells that react to myelin are also present in a healthy individual; however, their activity is tightly regulated by endogenous inhibitory mechanisms that prevent T cell activation against myelin.

One of those endogenous molecules that control inflammation is Nlrx1, which is found in immune cells including T cells and macrophages. Previously, we showed that Nlrx1 inhibits the progress of MS, however it is still unknown if Nlrx1 can prevent the initiation of MS.  To answer this question, we will use mice that do not have Nlrx1 and genetically engineered to have many T cells that can attack myelin. Our preliminary data showed that these mice develop MS symptoms spontaneously. We will use this mouse model to study mechanisms of Nlrx1-dependent protection in MS. Furthermore we will evaluate expression of Nlrx1 in MS patients. Findings of this research may have a significant impact on developing novel therapeutics to prevent MS.