The team found that these types of mediators, which are responsible for resolving the inflammatory process – once it is no longer beneficial – are lacking in the disease’s model animals, such as in patients with the disease. The use of these mediators thus promises to be a good strategy. Is it known that acute inflammation is a protective response to infection that promotes tissue regeneration after injury? But once its function is fulfilled, the inflammation should not become chronic and several mechanisms, regulated by lipids that act as mediators, are responsible for resolving it. A malfunction of these mechanisms results in uncontrolled inflammation that becomes detrimental to the tissues.
This is the case in MS, where the autoimmune response “attacks” myelin.
Stop the autoimmune response
A promising anti-inflammatory lipid, Maresin-1: The team led by Dr. Rubén López-Vales, Professor of Physiology at the UAB, manages to reduce the chronic inflammation associated with MS in the model mouse of the disease by administering one of the mediating lipids of the inflammation: Maresin-1. Lipid has a therapeutic effect by significantly reducing the amount of pro-inflammatory proteins (cytokines), as well as the number of cells in the immune system, both in the spinal cord and in the blood.
Long-term lipid administration protects neurons from demyelination
and reduces the neurological damage caused by the disease.
Another proof of the key role of lipid mediators: analysis of MS patients and mouse models of MS reveals insufficient production of Maresin-1 and other lipid mediators that end inflammation. The levels of these immunosuppressive substances, which are almost undetectable, give way to the inflammatory process.
Taken together, these results suggest that the administration of these lipid mediators, at insufficient levels in patients with MS, could reduce, at least in part, inflammatory episodes. The study suggests an innovative strategy for the treatment of MS but most likely also for other autoimmune diseases.
A series of tests and experiments will now seek to demonstrate the safety of these lipids and then their effectiveness.