Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic debilitating disease of the central nervous system mainly affecting young and active individuals. The impact of this disease on a personal as well as socio-economic level is dramatic. The etiology of the disease remains largely elusive, and current treatments have a rather modest effect on the disease course. Our research is based on a hypothesis that dysfunctional astrocytes play an important role in the pathogenesis of MS. In preceding work we showed that astrocytes in MS are deficient in beta2-adrenergic receptors. We are gathering more and more data supporting our hypothesis that a deficiency of these receptors may play an important role in the pathology of MS. Activation of beta2-adrenergic receptors appears to suppress inflammation and regulate components of astrocyte energy metabolism and blood perfusion. Information is mostly obtained from in vitro studies. The aim of this project is to investigate the pathogenetic effects of astrocytic beta2-adrenergic receptor deficiency in vivo, at the level of both inflammatory demyelination and axonal degeneration. We are now in a unique position to study the situation as it occurs in MS because we have generated, for the first time, an astrocyte selective beta2-adrenergic receptor knockout mouse.
Effective start/end date1/01/1131/12/13

    Flemish discipline codes

  • Biological sciences

    Research areas

  • Neurosciences

ID: 3395818