SAN DIEGO, March 22 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have identified a fibrin-derived peptide that inhibits a specific inflammation process in mouse models of multiple sclerosis.
The University of California-San Diego scientists say the fibrous protein called fibrinogen, found in circulating blood and important in blood clotting, can promote multiple sclerosis when it leaks from the blood into the brain, triggering inflammation that leads to MS-related nerve damage.
But the researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine identified a fibrin-derived peptide that inhibits that inflammation, thereby reducing MS symptoms.
"Current strategies to develop therapies to fight MS primarily target T cells," said Katerina Akassoglou, the study's lead investigator. "Blood proteins have been neglected as a therapeutic target, but this research shows that a blood clotting factor is an important player in MS."
The research is detailed in the March 19 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.