sclerosis tissue proteomics
Barnett, Professor John Prineas and Dr Ben Crussett continue
their research at Sydney
anticipated positive outcomes.
While the cause of MS is
unknown, an immune response to a self or foreign protein (antigen) is likely to
play an important role. This project uses new laboratory techniques to discover
and characterise potential antigens and other molecules important to the cause
of MS. The identification of these proteins may lead to targeted, more
effective treatments for MS.
Unlike other studies, this
involves the application of new technologies to tissue from an unparalleled
brain and spinal cord bank comprising greater than 300 MS cases, over 30 with
disease duration of less than 3 months. The identification of an MS-specific
antigen within microglial nodules in periplaque normal-appearing white matter,
or of new molecular targets in pre-phagocytic tissue integral to lesion
formation/expansion, may help to unravel the pathogenesis of the disease and
ultimately lead to the development of novel, targeted therapies.
This project is addressing
these issues by applying emerging technologies to an existing and unique bank
of acute and chronic MS tissue. By utilising a combination of laser capture
microdissection, advanced proteomics and immunofluorescence microscopy, we seek
to establish molecular profiles that are specific to the earliest phases of
tissue alteration in MS, namely the pre-phagocytic white matter lesions that
characterise early disease, and the periplaque white matter surrounding
expanding acute and chronic lesions that contain biomarkers of an MS-specific
immune response previously identified by our group.
This work should
significantly advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of events leading
to the formation of classical active MS plaques and, potentially, to aid
directly in the development of more effective, targeted therapies.