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Preliminary results of the treatment of a mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis with Anatabine.

Roskamp Institute scientists used a standard model of MS (multiple sclerosis) to assess the effects of anatabine in this disease characterized by very high levels of inflammation in the brain. The mouse model known as EAE (experimental autoimmune enchephalomyelitis) is characterized by high levels of circulating antibodies to the fatty sheaths that surround nerve fibers. The model is induced by vaccinating mice with myelin which induces an autoimmune reaction. As a consequence there is a devastating inflammatory process in the brain which has the effect of destroying neurons and causing progressive paralysis. In this regard the disease model looks very similar to that which occurs in human MS. Treatment with anatabine resulted in a dramatic reduction in the rate of paralysis of hind limbs [see figure 1].

Figure 1. Incidence of hind limb paralysis in anatabine treatment vs untreated mice with EAE.

In addition to the better motor performance of the mice there is evidence of suppression of the normal inflammatory response that accompanies this model. For instance, in the spleen pro-inflammatory molecules such as IFN-γ, IL-8, IL-6 and TNF-α are all significantly raised by the induction of inflammation. In the anatabine treated mice, strikingly, these inflammatory molecules were all at normal levels [figure 2]. These preliminary data all suggest anatabine has a highly beneficial effect in this model of MS.

Figure 2. Showing the comparison of pro-inflammatory molecules in the spleen in normal mice (control), EAE mice treated with placebo, and EAE mice treated with anatabine.

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