Mechanisms of Fibrin Action in Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Investigator: Michelle Arkin, PhD
Sponsor: J. David Gladstone Institutes

Location(s): United States


The widespread deposition of fibrin and fibrin degradation products (FDPs) within the nervous system is well documented in demyelinating plaques in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Given that fibrin, FDPs and their cell surface receptors play a role in both the inflammatory response and tissue remodeling/repair, they are prime candidates to be critical determinants of inflammatory demyelination. Our major hypothesis is that fibrin utilizes receptors of nervous system cells to exert deleterious effects in nervous system pathology. Our preliminary data demonstrate that: 1. Pharmacologic depletion of fibrin reverses relapsing paralysis and ameliorates inflammatory demyelination in autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE); 2. Fibrin induces microglia activation both in vivo and in vitro; 3. Blocking the Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18) fibrin receptor ameliorates fibrin-induced microglia activation in vitro. Our ultimate goal is to design a novel therapeutic approach for fibrin depletion with potential application in MS and other neurologic diseases associated with fibrin deposition.