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Autoimmune disease

Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 4 (TRPM4)

Patient sample and mouse studies suggest inhibiting TRPM4 could help treat MS. In mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), Trpm4 knockout or Trpm4 inhibition with glibenclamide decreased overall disease severity but led to similar immune cell activation and infiltration compared with normal Trpm4 expression or no inhibition. In brain samples from EAE mice and patients with MS, TRPM4 expression was greater within active demyelinating brain lesions than inactive lesions or tissue adjacent to active lesions. Next steps include further developing inhibitors of TRPM4.
Glibenclamide is a generic sulfonylurea approved to treat type 2 diabetes (see A current affair in MS, page 1).

SciBX 5(47); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1228
Published online Dec. 6, 2012

Patent application filed; unlicensed

Schattling, B. et al. Nat. Med.; published online Nov. 18, 2012;
Contact: Manuel A. Friese, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany