Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease affecting young adults, and it has established autoimmune and environmental components. We aim to define a role for Vitamin D in regulating expression of key molecules affecting both immune cells and central nervous system cells, and thereby to identify processes that are important in MS susceptibility and disease progression.
(1) We have characterised the regulator regions of genes encoding death-inducing cytokines and their receptors and shown that the TRAIL gene in particular, responds to vitamin D and cytokines.
(2) We have shown that death-inducing cytokines are regulated by IFNb, and vitamin D; the implication being that expression of these genes impacts on MS disease severity and treatment responses.
(3) We have demonstrated that Vitamin D treatment profoundly alleviates neurological symptoms in a mouse model.
Updated: 06 January, 2007