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Special Issue "Advances in Multiple Sclerosis"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2015).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Christoph Kleinschnitz

Universitätsklinikum Essen (AöR), Klinik für Neurologie, Hufelandstraße 55, D-45147 Essen, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: neuroimmunology; emphasis on Multiple Sclerosis; stroke (experimental/clinical); thromboinflammation; immune system/inflammation; neuroprotection; cellular and molecular neuroimaging by magnetic resonance imaging
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Sven G. Meuth

Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster, Department of Neurology, Munster, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: animal models of autoimmune inflammation; ion channels in inflammation and degeneration; neuroimmune interactio

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one of the most exciting, emerging fields in neurology. Recent pathophysiological insights, derived from both animal models and clinical studies, paved the way for the regulatory approval of novel MS treatments, like oral compounds or monoclonal antibodies. Some of these compounds possibly act beyond their well-established immunomodulatory properties, for instance by inducing direct neuroprotection or neuroregeneration. Of note, even childhood MS has been recognized as a significant medical problem and novel therapies are increasingly tested for this population. However, important, unmet medical needs remain and the quest for even more sophisticated treatment strategies continues. For example, promising preclinical data exist regarding the modulation of certain ion channels expressed on immune cells, B cell function, and the functional state of the blood-brain-barrier. In addition, improved imaging techniques, such as diffusion tensor imaging or optical coherence tomography have helped gain in vivo insights into the pathophysiological processes directly acting in MS patients.

The upcoming special issue on "Advances in Multiple Sclerosis" will cover all aspects of this most prevalent neuroimmunological disease. We invite authors to submit Original Articles or state-of-the art Reviews on MS pathophysiology, therapy, epidemiology, environmental factors, and imaging. All contributions will undergo a rapid, fair, and concise review process to minimize publication times.

We look forward to receiving your valuable submissions.

Prof. Christoph Kleinschnitz
Prof. Sven Meuth
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Prof. Christoph Kleinschnitz

Keywords

  • multiple sclerosis
  • therapy
  • epidemiology
  • diagnosis
  • imaging
  • environmental factors

Published Papers (26 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Individual Assessment of Brain Tissue Changes in MS and the Effect of Focal Lesions on Short-Term Focal Atrophy Development in MS: A Voxel-Guided Morphometry Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(4), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17040489
Received: 17 August 2015 / Revised: 22 February 2016 / Accepted: 25 February 2016 / Published: 1 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3994 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We performed voxel-guided morphometry (VGM) investigating the mechanisms of brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis (MS) related to focal lesions. VGM maps detect regional brain changes when comparing 2 time points on high resolution T1-weighted (T1w) magnetic resonace imaging (MRI). Two T1w MR datasets [...] Read more.
We performed voxel-guided morphometry (VGM) investigating the mechanisms of brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis (MS) related to focal lesions. VGM maps detect regional brain changes when comparing 2 time points on high resolution T1-weighted (T1w) magnetic resonace imaging (MRI). Two T1w MR datasets from 92 relapsing-remitting MS patients obtained 12 months apart were analysed with VGM. New lesions and volume changes of focal MS lesions as well as in the surrounding tissue were identified by visual inspection on colour coded VGM maps. Lesions were dichotomized in active and inactive lesions. Active lesions, defined by either new lesions (NL) (volume increase > 5% in VGM), chronic enlarging lesions (CEL) (pre-existent T1w lesions with volume increase > 5%), or chronic shrinking lesions (CSL) (pre-existent T1w lesions with volume reduction > 5%) in VGM, were accompanied by tissue shrinkage in surrounding and/or functionally related regions. Volume loss within the corpus callosum was highly correlated with the number of lesions in its close proximity. Volume loss in the lateral geniculate nucleus was correlated with lesions along the optic radiation. VGM analysis provides strong evidence that all active lesion types (NL, CEL, and CSL) contribute to brain volume reduction in the vicinity of lesions and/or in anatomically and functionally related areas of the brain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Fingolimod (FTY720-P) Does Not Stabilize the Blood–Brain Barrier under Inflammatory Conditions in an in Vitro Model
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 29454-29466; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161226177
Received: 11 June 2015 / Revised: 16 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 10 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4711 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is an early hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Cell adhesion in the BBB is modulated by sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a signaling protein, via S1P receptors (S1P1). Fingolimod [...] Read more.
Breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is an early hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Cell adhesion in the BBB is modulated by sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a signaling protein, via S1P receptors (S1P1). Fingolimod phosphate (FTY720-P) a functional S1P1 antagonist has been shown to improve the relapse rate in relapsing-remitting MS by preventing the egress of lymphocytes from lymph nodes. However, its role in modulating BBB permeability—in particular, on the tight junction proteins occludin, claudin 5 and ZO-1—has not been well elucidated to date. In the present study, FTY720-P did not change the transendothelial electrical resistance in a rat brain microvascular endothelial cell (RBMEC) culture exposed to inflammatory conditions and thus did not decrease endothelial barrier permeability. In contrast, occludin was reduced in RBMEC culture after adding FTY720-P. Additionally, FTY720-P did not alter the amount of endothelial matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and MMP-2 in RBMEC cultures. Taken together, our observations support the assumption that S1P1 plays a dual role in vascular permeability, depending on its ligand. Thus, S1P1 provides a mechanistic basis for FTY720-P-associated disruption of endothelial barriers—such as the blood-retinal barrier—which might result in macular edema. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Early and Degressive Putamen Atrophy in Multiple Sclerosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(10), 23195-23209; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms161023195
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 8 September 2015 / Published: 25 September 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1084 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Putamen atrophy and its long-term progress during disease course were recently shown in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Here we investigated retrospectively the time point of atrophy onset in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). 68 patients with RRMS and 26 healthy controls (HC) [...] Read more.
Putamen atrophy and its long-term progress during disease course were recently shown in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Here we investigated retrospectively the time point of atrophy onset in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). 68 patients with RRMS and 26 healthy controls (HC) were admitted to 3T MRI in a cross-sectional study. We quantitatively analyzed the putamen volume of individual patients in relation to disease duration by correcting for age and intracranial volume (ICV). Patient’s relative putamen volume (RPV), expressed in percent of ICV, was significantly reduced compared to HC. Based on the correlation between RPV and age, we computed the age-corrected RPV deviation (ΔRPV) from HC. Patients showed significantly negative ΔRPV. Interestingly, the age-corrected ΔRPV depended logarithmically on disease duration: Directly after first symptom manifestation, patients already showed a reduced RPV followed by a further degressive volumetric decline. This means that atrophy progression was stronger in the first than in later years of disease. Putamen atrophy starts directly after initial symptom manifestation or even years before, and progresses in a degressive manner. Due to its important role in neurological functions, early detection of putamen atrophy seems necessary. High-resolution structural MRI allows monitoring of disease course. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Adaptive Immune Responses in a Multiple Sclerosis Patient with Acute Varicella-Zoster Virus Reactivation during Treatment with Fingolimod
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 21832-21845; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160921832
Received: 13 August 2015 / Revised: 1 September 2015 / Accepted: 2 September 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1779 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fingolimod, an oral sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator, is approved for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). The interference with S1P signaling leads to retention particularly of chemokine receptor-7 (CCR7) expressing T cells in lymph nodes. The immunological basis of [...] Read more.
Fingolimod, an oral sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator, is approved for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). The interference with S1P signaling leads to retention particularly of chemokine receptor-7 (CCR7) expressing T cells in lymph nodes. The immunological basis of varicella zoster virus (VZV) infections during fingolimod treatment is unclear. Here, we studied the dynamics of systemic and intrathecal immune responses associated with symptomatic VZV reactivation including cessation of fingolimod and initiation of antiviral therapy. Key features in peripheral blood were an about two-fold increase of VZV-specific IgG at diagnosis of VZV reactivation as compared to the previous months, a relative enrichment of effector CD4+ T cells (36% versus mean 12% in controls), and an accelerated reconstitution of absolute lymphocytes counts including a normalized CD4+/CD8+ ratio and reappearance of CCR7+ T cells. In cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) the lymphocytic pleocytosis and CD4+/CD8+ ratios at diagnosis of reactivation and after nine days of fingolimod discontinuation remained unchanged. During this time CCR7+ T cells were not observed in CSF. Further research into fingolimod-associated VZV reactivation and immune reconstitution is mandatory to prevent morbidity and mortality associated with this potentially life-threatening condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Variants of MicroRNA Genes: Gender-Specific Associations with Multiple Sclerosis Risk and Severity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 20067-20081; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160820067
Received: 12 July 2015 / Revised: 4 August 2015 / Accepted: 14 August 2015 / Published: 24 August 2015
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune neuro-inflammatory disease arising from complex interactions of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. Variations in genes of some microRNAs—key post-transcriptional regulators of many genes—can influence microRNAs expression/function and contribute to MS via expression changes of protein-coding target mRNA [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune neuro-inflammatory disease arising from complex interactions of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. Variations in genes of some microRNAs—key post-transcriptional regulators of many genes—can influence microRNAs expression/function and contribute to MS via expression changes of protein-coding target mRNA genes. We performed an association study of polymorphous variants of MIR146A rs2910164, MIR196A2 rs11614913, MIR499A rs3746444 MIR223 rs1044165 and their combinations with MS risk and severity. 561 unrelated patients with bout-onset MS and 441 healthy volunteers were enrolled in the study. We observed associations of MS risk with allele MIR223*T and combination (MIR223*T + MIR146A*G/G) carriage in the entire groups and in women at Bonferroni-corrected significance level (pcorr < 0.05). Besides, MIR146A*G/G association with MS was observed in women with nominal significance (pf = 0.025). No MS associations were found in men. A more severe MS course (MSSS value > 3.5) was associated with the carriage of MIR499A*C/T and, less reliably, of MIR499A*C (pcorr = 0.006 and pcorr = 0.024, respectively) and with the carriage of combinations (MIR499A*C/T + MIR196A2*C) and (MIR499A*C + MIR196A2*C) (pcorr = 0.00078 and pcorr = 0.0059, respectively). These associations also showed gender specificity, as they were not significant in men and substantially reinforced in women. The strongest association with MS severity was observed in women for combination (MIR499A*C/T + MIR196A2*C): pcorr = 4.43 × 10−6 and OR = 3.23 (CI: 1.99–5.26). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
Open AccessArticle
Fumaric Acid Esters Do Not Reduce Inflammatory NF-κB/p65 Nuclear Translocation, ICAM-1 Expression and T-Cell Adhesiveness of Human Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 19086-19095; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160819086
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 31 July 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 13 August 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1098 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is approved for disease-modifying treatment of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Animal experiments suggested that part of its therapeutic effect is due to a reduction of T-cell infiltration of the central nervous system (CNS) by uncertain mechanisms. Here we evaluated [...] Read more.
Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is approved for disease-modifying treatment of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Animal experiments suggested that part of its therapeutic effect is due to a reduction of T-cell infiltration of the central nervous system (CNS) by uncertain mechanisms. Here we evaluated whether DMF and its primary metabolite monomethyl fumarate (MMF) modulate pro-inflammatory intracellular signaling and T-cell adhesiveness of nonimmortalized single donor human brain microvascular endothelial cells at low passages. Neither DMF nor MMF at concentrations of 10 or 50 µM blocked the IL-1β-induced nuclear translocation of NF-κB/p65, whereas the higher concentration of DMF inhibited the nuclear entry of p65 in human umbilical vein endothelium cultured in parallel. DMF and MMF also did not alter the IL-1β-stimulated activation of p38 MAPK in brain endothelium. Furthermore, neither DMF nor MMF reduced the basal or IL-1β-inducible expression of ICAM-1. In accordance, both fumaric acid esters did not reduce the adhesion of activated Jurkat T cells to brain endothelium under basal or inflammatory conditions. Therefore, brain endothelial cells probably do not directly mediate a potential blocking effect of fumaric acid esters on the inflammatory infiltration of the CNS by T cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Murine K2P5.1 Deficiency Has No Impact on Autoimmune Neuroinflammation due to Compensatory K2P3.1- and KV1.3-Dependent Mechanisms
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 16880-16896; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160816880
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 4 July 2015 / Accepted: 9 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4366 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lymphocytes express potassium channels that regulate physiological cell functions, such as activation, proliferation and migration. Expression levels of K2P5.1 (TASK2; KCNK5) channels belonging to the family of two-pore domain potassium channels have previously been correlated to the activity of autoreactive T [...] Read more.
Lymphocytes express potassium channels that regulate physiological cell functions, such as activation, proliferation and migration. Expression levels of K2P5.1 (TASK2; KCNK5) channels belonging to the family of two-pore domain potassium channels have previously been correlated to the activity of autoreactive T lymphocytes in patients with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. In humans, K2P5.1 channels are upregulated upon T cell stimulation and influence T cell effector functions. However, a further clinical translation of targeting K2P5.1 is currently hampered by a lack of highly selective inhibitors, making it necessary to evaluate the impact of KCNK5 in established preclinical animal disease models. We here demonstrate that K2P5.1 knockout (K2P5.1/) mice display no significant alterations concerning T cell cytokine production, proliferation rates, surface marker molecules or signaling pathways. In an experimental model of autoimmune neuroinflammation, K2P5.1/ mice show a comparable disease course to wild-type animals and no major changes in the peripheral immune system or CNS compartment. A compensatory upregulation of the potassium channels K2P3.1 and KV1.3 seems to counterbalance the deletion of K2P5.1. As an alternative model mimicking autoimmune neuroinflammation, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in the common marmoset has been proposed, especially for testing the efficacy of new potential drugs. Initial experiments show that K2P5.1 is functionally expressed on marmoset T lymphocytes, opening up the possibility for assessing future K2P5.1-targeting drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Sleep Disorders Reduce Health-Related Quality of Life in Multiple Sclerosis (Nottingham Health Profile Data in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 16514-16528; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160716514
Received: 30 May 2015 / Revised: 13 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (715 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quality of Life (QoL) is decreased in multiple sclerosis (MS), but studies about the impact of sleep disorders (SD) on health-related quality of Life (HRQoL) are lacking. From our original cohort, a cross-sectional polysomnographic (PSG) study in consecutive MS patients, we retrospectively analysed [...] Read more.
Quality of Life (QoL) is decreased in multiple sclerosis (MS), but studies about the impact of sleep disorders (SD) on health-related quality of Life (HRQoL) are lacking. From our original cohort, a cross-sectional polysomnographic (PSG) study in consecutive MS patients, we retrospectively analysed the previously unpublished data of the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). Those MS patients suffering from sleep disorders (n = 49) showed significantly lower HRQoL compared to MS patients without sleep disorders (n = 17). Subsequently, we classified the patients into four subgroups: insomnia (n = 17), restless-legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder and SD due to leg pain (n = 24), obstructive sleep apnea (n = 8) and patients without sleep disorder (n = 17). OSA and insomnia patients showed significantly higher NHP values and decreased HRQoL not only for the sleep subscale but also for the “energy” and “emotional” area of the NHP. In addition, OSA patients also showed increased NHP values in the “physical abilities” area. Interestingly, we did not find a correlation between the objective PSG parameters and the subjective sleep items of the NHP. However, this study demonstrates that sleep disorders can reduce HRQoL in MS patients and should be considered as an important confounder in all studies investigating HRQoL in MS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Interferon-Beta Therapy of Multiple Sclerosis Patients Improves the Responsiveness of T Cells for Immune Suppression by Regulatory T Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 16330-16346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160716330
Received: 11 May 2015 / Revised: 10 June 2015 / Accepted: 6 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (2028 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease characterized by imbalanced immune regulatory networks, and MS patient-derived T effector cells are inefficiently suppressed through regulatory T cells (Treg), a phenomenon known as Treg resistance. In the current study we investigated T cell function [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease characterized by imbalanced immune regulatory networks, and MS patient-derived T effector cells are inefficiently suppressed through regulatory T cells (Treg), a phenomenon known as Treg resistance. In the current study we investigated T cell function in MS patients before and after interferon-beta therapy. We compared cytokine profile, responsiveness for Treg-mediated suppression ex vivo and evaluated reactivity of T cells in vivo using a humanized mouse model. We found that CD4+ and CD8+ T cells of therapy-naive MS patients were resistant to Treg-mediated suppression. Treg resistance is associated with an augmented IL-6 production, enhanced IL-6 receptor expression, and increased PKB/c-Akt phosphorylation. These parameters as well as responsiveness of T cells to Treg-mediated suppression were restored after interferon-beta therapy of MS patients. Following transfer into immunodeficient mice, MS T cells induced a lethal graft versus host disease (GvHD) and in contrast to T cells of healthy volunteers, this aggressive T cell response could not be controlled by Treg, but was abolished by anti-IL-6 receptor antibodies. However, magnitude and lethality of GvHD induced by MS T cells was significantly decreased after interferon-beta therapy and the reaction was prevented by Treg activation in vivo. Our data reveals that interferon-beta therapy improves the immunoregulation of autoaggressive T effector cells in MS patients by changing the IL-6 signal transduction pathway, thus restoring their sensitivity to Treg-mediated suppression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Short Physical Exercise Intervention on Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 15761-15775; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160715761
Received: 20 May 2015 / Revised: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 6 July 2015 / Published: 10 July 2015
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (763 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: The aim of this prospective randomized controlled trial was to investigate if a short-term endurance or combined endurance/resistance exercise program was sufficient to improve aerobic capacity and maximum force in adult patients (18–65 years) with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: All patients performed [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this prospective randomized controlled trial was to investigate if a short-term endurance or combined endurance/resistance exercise program was sufficient to improve aerobic capacity and maximum force in adult patients (18–65 years) with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: All patients performed a three-month exercise program consisting of two training sessions per week, lasting 40 min each, with moderate intensity. All patients had a maximum value of 6 (low to moderate disability) on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). One group (combined workout group (CWG); 15 females, 4 males) completed a combined endurance/resistance workout (20 min on a bicycle ergometer, followed by 20 min of resistance training), while the other group (endurance workout group (EWG); 13 females, 5 males) completed a 40 min endurance training program. Aerobic capacity was assessed as peak oxygen uptake, ventilatory anaerobic threshold, and workload expressed as Watts. Maximum force of knee and shoulder extensors and flexors was measured using isokinetic testing. Quality of life was assessed with the SF-36 questionnaire, and fatigue was measured using the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale. Results: Both training groups increased in aerobic capacity and maximum force. EWG, as well as CWG, showed improvement in several subscales of the SF-36 questionnaire and decrease of their fatigue. Conclusion: A short exercise intervention increased both aerobic capacity and maximum force independent of whether endurance or combined endurance/resistance workouts were performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Interferon Beta-1a (AVONEX®) as a Treatment Option for Untreated Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (AXIOM): A Prospective, Observational Study
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 15271-15286; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160715271
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 27 May 2015 / Published: 6 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (922 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The efficacy and safety of first-line disease-modifying therapies (DMT) for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) has been demonstrated in pivotal, randomized trials, but these studies do not reflect the routine care setting where treatment gaps or switches are common. The Avonex as Treatment Option [...] Read more.
The efficacy and safety of first-line disease-modifying therapies (DMT) for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) has been demonstrated in pivotal, randomized trials, but these studies do not reflect the routine care setting where treatment gaps or switches are common. The Avonex as Treatment Option for Untreated MS Patients (AXIOM) trial assessed the efficacy of newly-initiated intramuscular interferon beta-1a (IM IFNb-1a) after a treatment-free interval, with particular consideration of the previous course of disease and therapy. The AXIOM trial was an open, 12-month, observational, non-interventional study with a retrospective and a prospective part conducted in Germany. RRMS patients with a treatment-free interval of at least three months were included and treated with IFNb-1a for up to 12 months. Relapse rate, disability progression, injection-related parameters and quality of life observed during the prospective part were compared with retrospectively-collected data. Two hundred and thirty five RRMS patients participated in AXIOM. The mean relapse rate decreased from 1.1 in the three months before baseline to 0.2 per quarter during the twelve-month observational period; the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite score improved during twelve months of IM IFNb-1a treatment, while the Expanded Disability Status Scale score did not change over the course of this study. Compared to previous DMTs (IM IFNb-1a, subcutaneous IFNb-1a (SC IFNb-1a), SC IFNb-1b, glatiramer acetate), the patients experienced less injection site reactions and flu-like symptoms, with a stated improved quality of life. IM IFNb-1a was effective and well accepted in RRMS patients with no or discontinued previous therapy. These results from the routine care setting may inform optimization of DMT treatment in RRMS, but need confirmation in further studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Cutaneous Adverse Events Associated with Interferon-β Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 14951-14960; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160714951
Received: 19 May 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 26 June 2015 / Published: 2 July 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1872 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Interferons are widely used platform therapies as disease-modifying treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis. Although interferons are usually safe and well tolerated, they frequently cause dermatological side effects. Here, we present a multiple sclerosis (MS) patient treated with interferon-β who developed new-onset psoriasis. [...] Read more.
Interferons are widely used platform therapies as disease-modifying treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis. Although interferons are usually safe and well tolerated, they frequently cause dermatological side effects. Here, we present a multiple sclerosis (MS) patient treated with interferon-β who developed new-onset psoriasis. Both her MS as well as her psoriasis finally responded to treatment with fumarates. This case illustrates that interferons not only cause local but also systemic adverse events of the skin. These systemic side effects might indicate that the Th17/IL-17 axis plays a prominent role in the immunopathogenesis of this individual case and that the autoimmune process might be deteriorated by further administration of interferons. In conclusion, we think that neurologists should be aware of systemic cutaneous side effects and have a closer look on interferon-associated skin lesions. Detection of psoriasiform lesions might indicate that interferons are probably not beneficial in the individual situation. We suggest that skin lesions may serve as biomarkers to allocate MS patients to adequate disease-modifying drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Mental Health in Multiple Sclerosis Patients without Limitation of Physical Function: The Role of Physical Activity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 14901-14911; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160714901
Received: 22 May 2015 / Revised: 22 May 2015 / Accepted: 26 June 2015 / Published: 2 July 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, in general, show reduced physical function, physical activity, and quality of life. Positive associations between physical activity and quality of life have been reported. In particular, we were interested in the relation between physical activity and mental health in [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, in general, show reduced physical function, physical activity, and quality of life. Positive associations between physical activity and quality of life have been reported. In particular, we were interested in the relation between physical activity and mental health in MS patients without limitation of physical function, since limitations of physical function may influence both physical activity and quality of life. Assessment comprised the Baecke questionnaire on physical activity, the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36), and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). We ranked our sample according to physical activity into four groups and performed an ANOVA to analyze the relationship between levels of physical activity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Then we performed a subgroup analysis and included patients with unlimited walking distance and a score of less than 18 in the BDI. Most active vs. inactive patients were compared for the mental subscales of the SF-36 and depression scores. From 632 patients, 265 met inclusion criteria and hence quartiles were filled with 67 patients each. Active and inactive patients did not differ considerably in physical function. In contrast, mental subscales of the SF-36 were higher in active patients. Remarkable and significant differences were found regarding vitality, general health perception, social functioning and mental health, all in favor of physically active patients. Our study showed that higher physical activity is still associated with higher mental health scores even if limitations of physical function are accounted for. Therefore, we believe that physical activity and exercise have considerable health benefits for MS patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Dimethyl Fumarate Protects Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells and Neurons from Oxidative Damage through Nrf2-ERK1/2 MAPK Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 13885-13907; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160613885
Received: 8 May 2015 / Revised: 9 June 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
Cited by 52 | PDF Full-text (2013 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common multifocal inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Due to the progressive neurodegenerative nature of MS, developing treatments that exhibit direct neuroprotective effects are needed. Tecfidera™ (BG-12) is an oral formulation of the fumaric [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common multifocal inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Due to the progressive neurodegenerative nature of MS, developing treatments that exhibit direct neuroprotective effects are needed. Tecfidera™ (BG-12) is an oral formulation of the fumaric acid esters (FAE), containing the active metabolite dimethyl fumarate (DMF). Although BG-12 showed remarkable efficacy in lowering relapse rates in clinical trials, its mechanism of action in MS is not yet well understood. In this study, we reported the potential neuroprotective effects of dimethyl fumarate (DMF) on mouse and rat neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs) and neurons. We found that DMF increased the frequency of the multipotent neurospheres and the survival of NPCs following oxidative stress with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) treatment. In addition, utilizing the reactive oxygen species (ROS) assay, we showed that DMF reduced ROS production induced by H2O2. DMF also decreased oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. Using motor neuron survival assay, DMF significantly promoted survival of motor neurons under oxidative stress. We further analyzed the expression of oxidative stress-induced genes in the NPC cultures and showed that DMF increased the expression of transcription factor nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) at both levels of RNA and protein. Furthermore, we demonstrated the involvement of Nrf2-ERK1/2 MAPK pathway in DMF-mediated neuroprotection. Finally, we utilized SuperArray gene screen technology to identify additional anti-oxidative stress genes (Gstp1, Sod2, Nqo1, Srxn1, Fth1). Our data suggests that analysis of anti-oxidative stress mechanisms may yield further insights into new targets for treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Polymorphisms of the CD24 Gene Are Associated with Risk of Multiple Sclerosis: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 12368-12381; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160612368
Received: 17 April 2015 / Revised: 22 May 2015 / Accepted: 27 May 2015 / Published: 1 June 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1320 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
CD24 is a cell-surface protein mainly expressed in cells of the immune and central nervous system (CNS), cells that play a critical role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). In the current study, we investigated four polymorphisms of the CD24 gene regarding [...] Read more.
CD24 is a cell-surface protein mainly expressed in cells of the immune and central nervous system (CNS), cells that play a critical role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). In the current study, we investigated four polymorphisms of the CD24 gene regarding their associations with MS. To this end, univariate and multivariate meta-analysis were applied along with modifications to include data from family-trios so as to increase the robustness of the meta-analysis. We found that the polymorphism 226 C>T (Ala57Val) of the CD24 gene is associated with MS according to the recessive mode of inheritance (odds ratio = 1.75; 95% CI: 1.09, 2.81). Moreover, the 1527–1528 TG>del polymorphism is inversely associated with MS according to the dominant mode of inheritance (odds ratio = 0.57; 95% CI 0.39, 0.83). Conversely, the 1056 A>G and 1626 A>G polymorphisms were not found to be associated with MS. We conclude that the CD24 226 C>T polymorphism increases the risk of MS, while the 1527–1528 TG>del polymorphism seems to have a protective role against MS, suggesting that these two polymorphisms can be used as predictive biomarkers for MS development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Iron in Multiple Sclerosis and Its Noninvasive Imaging with Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17010100
Received: 29 May 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (5686 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Iron is considered to play a key role in the development and progression of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In particular, iron that accumulates in myeloid cells after the blood-brain barrier (BBB) seals may contribute to chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and eventually neurodegeneration. Magnetic resonance [...] Read more.
Iron is considered to play a key role in the development and progression of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In particular, iron that accumulates in myeloid cells after the blood-brain barrier (BBB) seals may contribute to chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and eventually neurodegeneration. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a well-established tool for the non-invasive study of MS. In recent years, an advanced MRI method, quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM), has made it possible to study brain iron through in vivo imaging. Moreover, immunohistochemical investigations have helped defining the lesional and cellular distribution of iron in MS brain tissue. Imaging studies in MS patients and of brain tissue combined with histological studies have provided important insights into the role of iron in inflammation and neurodegeneration in MS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessReview
Physiological Dynamics in Demyelinating Diseases: Unraveling Complex Relationships through Computer Modeling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 21215-21236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160921215
Received: 26 May 2015 / Revised: 21 August 2015 / Accepted: 25 August 2015 / Published: 7 September 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite intense research, few treatments are available for most neurological disorders. Demyelinating diseases are no exception. This is perhaps not surprising considering the multifactorial nature of these diseases, which involve complex interactions between immune system cells, glia and neurons. In the case of [...] Read more.
Despite intense research, few treatments are available for most neurological disorders. Demyelinating diseases are no exception. This is perhaps not surprising considering the multifactorial nature of these diseases, which involve complex interactions between immune system cells, glia and neurons. In the case of multiple sclerosis, for example, there is no unanimity among researchers about the cause or even which system or cell type could be ground zero. This situation precludes the development and strategic application of mechanism-based therapies. We will discuss how computational modeling applied to questions at different biological levels can help link together disparate observations and decipher complex mechanisms whose solutions are not amenable to simple reductionism. By making testable predictions and revealing critical gaps in existing knowledge, such models can help direct research and will provide a rigorous framework in which to integrate new data as they are collected. Nowadays, there is no shortage of data; the challenge is to make sense of it all. In that respect, computational modeling is an invaluable tool that could, ultimately, transform how we understand, diagnose, and treat demyelinating diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessReview
Kynurenines and Multiple Sclerosis: The Dialogue between the Immune System and the Central Nervous System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 18270-18282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160818270
Received: 15 June 2015 / Revised: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 6 August 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (766 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, in which axonal transection takes place in parallel with acute inflammation to various, individual extents. The importance of the kynurenine pathway in the physiological functions and pathological processes of the nervous system [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, in which axonal transection takes place in parallel with acute inflammation to various, individual extents. The importance of the kynurenine pathway in the physiological functions and pathological processes of the nervous system has been extensively investigated, but it has additionally been implicated as having a regulatory function in the immune system. Alterations in the kynurenine pathway have been described in both preclinical and clinical investigations of multiple sclerosis. These observations led to the identification of potential therapeutic targets in multiple sclerosis, such as synthetic tryptophan analogs, endogenous tryptophan metabolites (e.g., cinnabarinic acid), structural analogs (laquinimod, teriflunomid, leflunomid and tranilast), indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase inhibitors (1MT and berberine) and kynurenine-3-monooxygenase inhibitors (nicotinylalanine and Ro 61-8048). The kynurenine pathway is a promising novel target via which to influence the immune system and to achieve neuroprotection, and further research is therefore needed with the aim of developing novel drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessReview
Brain-Specific Cytoskeletal Damage Markers in Cerebrospinal Fluid: Is There a Common Pattern between Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 17565-17588; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160817565
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 20 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1660 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many neurodegenerative disorders share a common pathophysiological pathway involving axonal degeneration despite different etiological triggers. Analysis of cytoskeletal markers such as neurofilaments, protein tau and tubulin in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be a useful approach to detect the process of axonal damage and [...] Read more.
Many neurodegenerative disorders share a common pathophysiological pathway involving axonal degeneration despite different etiological triggers. Analysis of cytoskeletal markers such as neurofilaments, protein tau and tubulin in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be a useful approach to detect the process of axonal damage and its severity during disease course. In this article, we review the published literature regarding brain-specific CSF markers for cytoskeletal damage in primary progressive multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in order to evaluate their utility as a biomarker for disease progression in conjunction with imaging and histological markers which might also be useful in other neurodegenerative diseases associated with affection of the upper motor neurons. A long-term benefit of such an approach could be facilitating early diagnostic and prognostic tools and assessment of treatment efficacy of disease modifying drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessReview
Autonomic Dysregulation in Multiple Sclerosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 16920-16952; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160816920
Received: 28 June 2015 / Revised: 13 July 2015 / Accepted: 20 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive central neurological disease characterized by inflammation and demyelination. In patients with MS, dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system may present with various clinical symptoms including sweating abnormalities, urinary dysfunction, orthostatic dysregulation, gastrointestinal symptoms, and sexual dysfunction. [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive central neurological disease characterized by inflammation and demyelination. In patients with MS, dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system may present with various clinical symptoms including sweating abnormalities, urinary dysfunction, orthostatic dysregulation, gastrointestinal symptoms, and sexual dysfunction. These autonomic disturbances reduce the quality of life of affected patients and constitute a clinical challenge to the physician due to variability of clinical presentation and inconsistent data on diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis and initiation of individualized interdisciplinary and multimodal strategies is beneficial in the management of autonomic dysfunction in MS. This review summarizes the current literature on the most prevalent aspects of autonomic dysfunction in MS and provides reference to underlying pathophysiological mechanisms as well as means of diagnosis and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessReview
B Cells and Autoantibodies in Multiple Sclerosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 16576-16592; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160716576
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 15 July 2015 / Accepted: 15 July 2015 / Published: 21 July 2015
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (681 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While over the past decades T cells have been considered key players in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), it has only recently become evident that B cells have a major contributing role. Our understanding of the role of B cells has evolved [...] Read more.
While over the past decades T cells have been considered key players in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), it has only recently become evident that B cells have a major contributing role. Our understanding of the role of B cells has evolved substantially following the clinical success of B cell-targeting therapies and increasing experimental evidence for significant B cell involvement. Rather than mere antibody-producing cells, it is becoming clear that they are team players with the capacity to prime and regulate T cells, and function both as pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators. However, despite tremendous efforts, the target antigen(s) of B cells in MS have yet to be identified. The first part of this review summarizes the clinical evidence and results from animal studies pointing to the relevance of B cells in the pathogenesis of MS. The second part gives an overview of the currently known potential autoantigen targets. The third part recapitulates and critically appraises the currently available B cell-directed therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
Open AccessReview
Alemtuzumab in Multiple Sclerosis: Mechanism of Action and Beyond
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 16414-16439; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160716414
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 12 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published: 20 July 2015
Cited by 56 | PDF Full-text (722 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alemtuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody against CD52 (cluster of differentiation 52) and is approved for the therapy of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The application of alemtuzumab leads to a rapid, but long-lasting depletion predominantly of CD52-bearing B and T cells with reprogramming effects [...] Read more.
Alemtuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody against CD52 (cluster of differentiation 52) and is approved for the therapy of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The application of alemtuzumab leads to a rapid, but long-lasting depletion predominantly of CD52-bearing B and T cells with reprogramming effects on immune cell composition resulting in the restoration of tolerogenic networks. Alemtuzumab has proven high efficacy in clinical phase II and III trials, where interferon β-1a was used as active comparator. However, alemtuzumab is associated with frequent and considerable risks. Most importantly secondary autoimmune disease affects 30%–40% of patients, predominantly impairing thyroid function. Extensive monitoring and early intervention allow for an appropriate risk management. However, new and reliable biomarkers for individual risk stratification and treatment response to improve patient selection and therapy guidance are a significant unmet need. Only a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of action (MOA) will reveal such markers, maximizing the best potential risk-benefit ratio for the individual patient. This review provides and analyses the current knowledge on the MOA of alemtuzumab. Most recent data on efficacy and safety of alemtuzumab are presented and future research opportunities are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
Open AccessReview
Intracellular Protein Shuttling: A Mechanism Relevant for Myelin Repair in Multiple Sclerosis?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 15057-15085; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160715057
Received: 29 May 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 25 June 2015 / Published: 3 July 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A prominent feature of demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) is the degeneration and loss of previously established functional myelin sheaths, which results in impaired signal propagation and axonal damage. However, at least in early disease stages, partial replacement of lost oligodendrocytes [...] Read more.
A prominent feature of demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) is the degeneration and loss of previously established functional myelin sheaths, which results in impaired signal propagation and axonal damage. However, at least in early disease stages, partial replacement of lost oligodendrocytes and thus remyelination occur as a result of resident oligodendroglial precursor cell (OPC) activation. These cells represent a widespread cell population within the adult central nervous system (CNS) that can differentiate into functional myelinating glial cells to restore axonal functions. Nevertheless, the spontaneous remyelination capacity in the adult CNS is inefficient because OPCs often fail to generate new oligodendrocytes due to the lack of stimulatory cues and the presence of inhibitory factors. Recent studies have provided evidence that regulated intracellular protein shuttling is functionally involved in oligodendroglial differentiation and remyelination activities. In this review we shed light on the role of the subcellular localization of differentiation-associated factors within oligodendroglial cells and show that regulation of intracellular localization of regulatory factors represents a crucial process to modulate oligodendroglial maturation and myelin repair in the CNS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessReview
Stepchild or Prodigy? Neuroprotection in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Research
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 14850-14865; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160714850
Received: 30 May 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 26 June 2015 / Published: 1 July 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (8876 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) and characterized by the infiltration of immune cells, demyelination and axonal loss. Loss of axons and nerve fiber pathology are widely accepted as correlates of neurological disability. Hence, it is [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) and characterized by the infiltration of immune cells, demyelination and axonal loss. Loss of axons and nerve fiber pathology are widely accepted as correlates of neurological disability. Hence, it is surprising that the development of neuroprotective therapies has been neglected for a long time. A reason for this could be the diversity of the underlying mechanisms, complex changes in nerve fiber pathology and the absence of biomarkers and tools to quantify neuroregenerative processes. Present therapeutic strategies are aimed at modulating or suppressing the immune response, but do not primarily attenuate axonal pathology. Yet, target-oriented neuroprotective strategies are essential for the treatment of MS, especially as severe damage of nerve fibers mostly occurs in the course of disease progression and cannot be impeded by immune modulatory drugs. This review shall depict the need for neuroprotective strategies and elucidate difficulties and opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessReview
The Neurocognitive Profile of the Cerebellum in Multiple Sclerosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 12185-12198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160612185
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 26 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (647 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, a high number of studies have demonstrated that neuropsychological functions are altered in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with cerebellar lesions, mainly including attention, working memory and verbal fluency. Since the present literature is often elusive on this topic, we aim [...] Read more.
In recent years, a high number of studies have demonstrated that neuropsychological functions are altered in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with cerebellar lesions, mainly including attention, working memory and verbal fluency. Since the present literature is often elusive on this topic, we aim to provide a comprehensive report about the real impact of cerebellar damages (evaluated as volume, lesions or connectivity measures) on cognitive functions. In particular in this review, we report and discuss recent works from 2009 to 2015, which have demonstrated the key role of the cerebellum in cognitive impairment of MS patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Open AccessCase Report
Listeria Meningitis Complicating Alemtuzumab Treatment in Multiple Sclerosis—Report of Two Cases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 14669-14676; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160714669
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 4 June 2015 / Accepted: 24 June 2015 / Published: 29 June 2015
Cited by 35 | PDF Full-text (636 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alemtuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the surface molecule CD52, leads to a rapid depletion of immune cells in the innate and adaptive immune system. In phase 2 and 3 trials in multiple sclerosis (MS), infections have been reported more frequently in alemtuzumab [...] Read more.
Alemtuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the surface molecule CD52, leads to a rapid depletion of immune cells in the innate and adaptive immune system. In phase 2 and 3 trials in multiple sclerosis (MS), infections have been reported more frequently in alemtuzumab than in interferon beta treated patients. Here we report two patients treated with alemtuzumab for MS developing Listeria meningitis few days after the first infusion cycle. Both patients recovered completely after prompt diagnosis and adequate treatment. Physicians and patients should be aware of this serious, but treatable complication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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