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expert reaction to stem cell treatment in mice for MS

Scientists publishing in Cell Stem Cell, investigate stem cell treatments – in mice – for diseases such as multiple sclerosis.


Dr Ludovic Vallier, from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, said:

“This exciting research shows how stem cells can be used to repair damaged organs. The study also shows how stem cells offer an opportunity to control the immune system, which in some cases, such as Multiple Sclerosis, can be a major cause of the disease. The molecular mechanisms uncovered by this new study could lead to the development of new regenerative therapies in the long term. However, further studies are needed to confirm these important results in humans and in the clinic.”


Prof Paul Matthews FMedSci, Head of the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London, said:

“A fine piece of work.  This study provides further evidence that small molecules integral to energy metabolism – in this case, succinate – can also have powerful effects on the immune system.  The work here highlights a new mechanism by which this can be effected.  In doing so, it suggests new targets for treatment.

“This work adds to the promise for development of new generation of ‘immunometabolic’ drugs for MS and related autoimmune disorders, building on the success of molecules like dimethylfumarate.”


* ‘Macrophage-derived extracellular succinate licenses neural stem cells to suppress chronic neuroinflammation’ by Luca Peruzzotti-Jametti et al published in Cell Stem Cell at on Thursday 22 February 2018. 


Declared interests

Prof Paul Matthews: “has received honoraria for lectures or advisory group or educational grants from Biogen, Roche and Novartis, as well as research funding from GlaxoSmithKline.”

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