A novel combined approach for the Immunotherapy of Multiple Sclerosis

In this project, we plan to carry out structure-activity studies towards vaccine therapy of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) using rationally designed mutated linear and cyclic Myelin Epitope peptide analogues MBP83-99, PLP139-151 and MOG35-55 together with Growth Factor as a therapeutic scheme.

A number of Immunodominant myelin epitope analogues, linear and the more stable in degradation cyclic, alone or conjugated with several carriers have being bio-assayed in our laboratories in a number of in vivo and in vitro assays, including acute and chronic Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) animal models of MS, proliferation of human T cell line, cytokine TH2/TH1 secretion and HLA binding and stability studies.

Specific peptide analogues protect and treat animals from the clinical symptoms rendering them potential therapeutic drugs in the Immunotherapy of MS. The myelin analogues will be evaluated for proliferation and cytokine responses in PBMC cultures of MS patients. The best candidate analogues will be pursued for biological evaluation, combined with Growth Factor Variants known to reduce de-myelination through pro-genitor cells. It is known that nerve growth factor is implicated in growth, differentiation and repair of destroyed brain neurons of MS patients.

This project -in which specific linear and cyclic mutated peptides of myelin epitopes with immunomodulatory activity (Eldrug SA and University of Patras in Greece) in combination with Growth Factor variants (ProCore Biomed in Israel) will be used- will hopefully lead to new improved therapeutic scheme in the immunotherapy and remyelination of MS patients, opening new avenues.


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