developing therapies to better
turn off those attacks.
Taking on T cells
T cells have long been
recognized as major players in
immune attacks in MS, but new
research is making inroads on
how these cells are activated and
how they can be suppressed.
Gabriel Rabinovich, PhD,
exemplifies the global reach of
the Society’s research program.
He is investigating emerging
technology called glycomics
at the Universidad de Buenos
Aires, with Society funding.
Glycomics investigates the ways
that sugar structures in the
body may influence biological
Dr. Rabinovich and his
colleagues recently demonstrated
that galectin-1 (a protein that
binds to sugars, which is found
at sites of brain injury and
inflammation) can selectively
Researchers are studying how the surfaces of
aggressive immune cells differ from those that
can calm immune attacks.
differ from those that can calm
They aim to capitalize on this
information to design therapies
that will be tested in mice
with EAE and in immune cells
isolated from people with MS—
important first steps before this
novel approach can be tested in
Another novel approach
is being taken by Society
The pathogen sensors on some immune cells
may contribute to triggering the attack in MS.
bind to and destroy aggressive
T cells. They have observed that
distinct groups of immune cells
have different sugar structures
on their surfaces, and these
structures determine whether
the sugars bind to galectin-1
or not. Now the researchers
are studying how the surfaces
of aggressive immune cells
grantee Amy Lovett-Racke,
PhD (Ohio State University),
who has focused her research
career on understanding how
T cells operate in MS. Now
she is delving into the genetic
code that instructs T cells.
Her team is studying recently
discovered substances known as
microRNAs (miRNAs), which
regulate what proteins the cells
Sara Bernstein is manager, research
information at the National MS
Society and editor of Research Now.