About Multiple Sclerosis Foundation

Home > Learn About Multiple Sclerosis > News > Immune cell conversion may hold key to new MS treatments

Immune cell conversion may hold key to new MS treatments


University of Bristol researchers have learned how to turn immune system cells from aggressors into protectors. The discovery could hold the key to approaches to treating multiple sclerosis that avoid the use of immune suppressive drugs and their side effects.

Using a technique previously applied to allergies, scientists in the UK selectively targeted cells in mice that cause autoimmune disease. By introducing fragments of proteins normally attacked by the immune cells, and gradually increasing the dosage, they corrected the immune system, converting aggressor cells into protector cells.

The technique called allergic desensitization served as the basis for the research. Scientists hope the discovery may eventually lead to new widespread treatments of autoimmune diseases such as MS in humans.

The study was published in Nature Communications.

  Support the MSF
Supporting MSF's programs to help make "a brighter tomorrow" has never been easier.
make a donation 

  Learn About MS
Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, weakness, spasticity, balance problems, bladder and bowel problems, numbness, vision loss, tremors and depression.
learn more 


Unless otherwise specified, all medical content is compiled by MSF staff and reviewed for accuracy by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.

The MSF strives to present clear and unbiased information. This site is partially funded through a grant from Bayer Healthcare, LLC.

© Copyright 2000-2013 Multiple Sclerosis Foundation - All Rights Reserved