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Cytokines make key difference in MS researchers say


Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that auto-reactive T cells in multiple sclerosis patients produce different types of inflammatory hormones called cytokines than they do in healthy subjects. The findings should offer a promising new treatment for the disease, the authors say.

The Yale-led team analyzed T cell populations from 23 MS patients and 22 healthy controls. According to the researchers, their findings suggest functional differences between antigen-specific T cells from MS and healthy controls are fundamental to disease development and support the idea that interleukin-10 production from myelin-reactive T cells may act to limit disease progression or even pathogenesis.

“In most people, these T cells are acting to repair tissue, but in MS patients, they do damage to the nervous system,” said Dr. David Hafler, Departments of Neurology and Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine.

The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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