CRCHUM, Department of Neurosciences, Universite de Montreal –
Molecular mechanisms underlying T lymphocytes interactions with oligodendrocytes in neuroinflammation
In multiple sclerosis (MS), there is an abnormal response of immune cells against cells of the brain and spinal cord. Oligodendrocytes, the myelin-producing cells that support and insulate neurons, are injured by the inflammatory response, leaving neurons vulnerable. If oligodendrocytes could recover and regenerate, the neurological damage could be reversed, but this is often not the case.
T cells are considered to play a major role in neuroinflammatory disorders such as MS, but whether they directly contact and injure oligodendrocytes has remained undefined. Dr Larochelle has recently observed T cells directly in contact with oligodendrocytes. She now proposes to characterize the molecules implicated in the contact and the consequences of these direct T cell-oligodendrocytes interactions. Preventing T cell-mediated oligodendrocyte damage could decrease the accumulation of neurological disability in MS.