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Disease models

T cell migration across the blood brain barrier (BBB)

The mechanism of T cell migration across the BBB could help identify new therapeutic targets for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other CNS-related autoimmune diseases. In a rat model of experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE), cell tracing studies showed that reactive T cells were unable to efficiently cross the BBB unless they first migrated to the lung, where their gene expression profiles were reprogrammed. The reprogramming downregulated expression of genes related to T cell activation and upregulated expression of genes related to cellular locomotion, adhesion and chemokine signaling. Next steps include determining whether T cells in patients with MS show a similar migratory pattern and identifying new therapeutic targets based on the changes in gene expression from reprogramming.

SciBX 5(35); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.940
Published online Sept. 6, 2012

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Odoardi, F. et al. Nature; published online Aug. 22, 2012;
Contact: Alexander Flügel, Hertie Foundation and University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany