Pluripotent stem cells: new opportunities for therapies against multiple sclerosis (MS) tested in a monkey model for MS
20 July 2016
The disease MS is a disorder of the central nervous system. Current therapies focus on delaying the disease; it is not yet possible to cure the disease. The development of new technologies offers new opportunities. In close collaboration with BPRC scientists, research groups from the Netherlands and abroad have for the first time explored the application of such an innovative technology in monkeys: the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to repair nerve damage.
In MS cells of the immune system attack the insulating layer (myelin) of the nerve fibers. This disrupts the impulse conduction and induces various neurological problems. Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) can produce new myelin sheaths. This leads to recovery and, unfortunately often only temporarily, to a reduction or complete disappearance of symptoms. In chronic MS the body OPCs fail to restore myelin damage sufficiently and symptoms are aggravated.