Protein Controls Brain Inflammation



Aquaporin-4 , a new-found protein found in the brain, may play a key role in brain inflammation, or encephalitis. This discovery is the first to identify a role in brain inflammation and opens doors for new drug development that treats brain inflammation and other conditions at a cellular level rather than treating the symptoms.

Dr. Alan Verkman, a senior researchers from the Department of Medicine and the Department of Physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, states that “Our data suggest that inhibition or down-regulation of aquaporin-4 expression in brain and spinal cord may offer a new therapeutic option in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, neumyelitis optica and other conditions associated with neuroinflammation.”

The scientific experiments with mice indicated significantly reduced brain inflammation in the mice that did not produce aquaporin-4. Researchers found that aquaporin-4 deletion causes the brain to be less susceptible to inflammation, involving differences in astrocyte reaction to stress suggesting that using drugs or other agents that target this protein may be effective for treating a variety of conditions associated with brain or spinal cord inflammation.

[Ed. Note: For article, see - Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology]