Dr. Sterling Ortega received a one year pilot grant from the National MS Society entitled, “The Neuro-reparative Role of Myelin-specific CD8 T-cells in EAE Recovery”. The grant will explore the means by which CD8 T-cells can blunt and possibly reverse the autoimmune destruction that occurs during multiple sclerosis.
Specifically, Dr. Ortega and colleagues have described CNS-specific CD8 T-cells which robustly stop and reverse neurological dysfunction in experimental models of multiple sclerosis. These specialized cells can kill putative disease-causing CD4 T-cells and suppressive disease-potentiating innate immune cells thereby explaining their disease-halting capacity. To explore their disease-reversing capability, this project will determine if these CD8 T-cells also exhibit a “neuroreparative” role directly on brain cells.