A research group led by Professor Hiroshi Takayanagi of the University of Tokyo has found from the analysis of multiple sclerosis, which is an intractable neurological disease, that a large number of immune cells are attracted by the action of pathogenic T cells to cause inflammation of the nerves.It was also clarified that the onset of the disease can be suppressed by administering a drug that inhibits this process by mouth.

 The original role of immunity is to recognize foreign substances such as pathogens, neutralize them, and eliminate them.However, sometimes we misidentify the components of our body as foreign substances and launch attacks.Diseases caused by these causes are called autoimmune diseases, and one of the diseases that damages the central nervous system is multiple sclerosis.Normally, the blood vessels that connect to the brain have barriers that prevent unnecessary passage, including immune cells.However, in multiple sclerosis, many immune cells pass through the barrier and inflame the brain.There was a need to elucidate the full picture of the disease and why immune cells cross the barrier to establish a cure.

 The group conducted experiments with mice that developed multiple sclerosis.As a result, we found that a substance called RANKL, which is a substance used by immune cells to communicate with each other, is the cause of inflammation. When we observed mice that could not make RANKL, immune cells did not pass through the blood-brain barrier and inflammation of the central nervous system was kept low.Furthermore, based on this result, when a drug that inhibits the production of RANKL was orally administered, it succeeded in suppressing the onset of the disease.

 In this way, we have clarified the mechanism by which inflammation occurs in the central nervous system in multiple sclerosis, and at the same time, we have obtained great clues as to the treatment method. Targeting RANKL, it is expected that disease control methods and treatment methods will be established in humans.

Tokyo University

Established in the 10th year of the Meiji era.A university with the longest history in Japan and at the forefront of Japanese knowledge

The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 (Meiji 10) by integrating the Tokyo Kaisei School and the Tokyo Medical School.Since its establishment, it has developed education and research in a unique way in the world as a leading university in Japan and an academic center for the fusion of East and West cultures.As a result, many human resources have been produced in a wide range of fields, and many research achievements […]

University Journal Online Editorial Department

This is the online editorial department of the university journal.
Articles are written by editorial staff who have a high level of knowledge and interest in universities and education.
For inquiries and opinions regarding the content of articles, etc. hereThank you.