Blockade of Fat Hormone May Help Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Study finds that blocking leptin benefits mice with the animal model of multiple sclerosis

FRIDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Blocking the obesity hormone leptin benefits mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model of human multiple sclerosis, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The finding suggests that blocking leptin might potentially treat multiple sclerosis, the authors say.

Giuseppe Matarese, M.D., of the Universita di Napoli "Federico II" in Naples, Italy, and colleagues used anti-leptin antibodies and a soluble mouse leptin receptor chimera (ObR:Fc) to block leptin before and after EAE was induced in the mice.

Blocking leptin improved clinical scores, slowed disease progression, inhibited T-cell proliferation and switched cytokine secretion toward a Th2/regulatory profile. They also found that leptin blockage reduced disease relapses at 90 to 120 days.

"Taken together, our data provide what we believe is a new molecular basis for leptin antagonism in EAE and envision novel strategies of leptin-based molecular targeting in the disease," the authors conclude.

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