Emerging and Evolving Topics in Multiple Sclerosis Pathogenesis and Treatments
Modelling complex disorders presents considerable challenges, and multiple sclerosis (MS) is no exception to this rule. The aetiology of MS is unknown, and its pathophysiology is poorly understood. Moreover, the last two decades have witnessed a dramatic revision of the long-held view of MS as an inflammatory demyelinating white matter disease. Instead, it is now regarded as a global central nervous system (CNS) disorder with a neurodegenerative component. Currently, there is no animal model recapitulating MS immunopathogenesis. Available models are based on autoimmune-mediated demyelination, denoted experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) or virally or chemically induced demyelination. Of these, the EAE model has been the most commonly used. It has been extensively improved since its first description and now exists as a number of variants, including genetically modified and humanized versions. Nonetheless, EAE is a distinct disease, and each variant models only certain facets of MS. Whilst the search for more refined MS models must continue, it is important to further explore where mechanisms underlying EAE provide proof-of-principle for those driving MS pathogenesis. EAE variants generated with the myelin component myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) have emerged as the preferred ones, because in this particular variant disease is associated with both T- and B-cell effector mechanisms, together with demyelination. MOG-induced EAE in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse strain exhibits a chronic-relapsing EAE clinical profile and high disease incidence. We describe the generation of this variant, its contribution to the understanding of MS immune and pathogenetic mechanisms and potential for evaluation of candidate therapies.