Multiple sclerosis is linked to MAPK(ERK) overactivity in microglia

George J. A. ten Bosch*, Jolande Bolk, Bert A. 't Hart, Jon D. Laman

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: Review articleAcademicpeer review

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Reassessment of published observations in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) suggests a microglial malfunction due to inappropriate (over)activity of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway ERK (MAPK(ERK)). These observations regard biochemistry as well as epigenetics, and all indicate involvement of this pathway. Recent preclinical research on neurodegeneration already pointed towards a role of MAPK pathways, in particular MAPK(ERK). This is important as microglia with overactive MAPK have been identified to disturb local oligodendrocytes which can lead to locoregional demyelination, hallmark of MS. This constitutes a new concept on pathophysiology of MS, besides the prevailing view, i.e., autoimmunity. Acknowledged risk factors for MS, such as EBV infection, hypovitaminosis D, and smoking, all downregulate MAPK(ERK) negative feedback phosphatases that normally regulate MAPK(ERK) activity. Consequently, these factors may contribute to inappropriate MAPK(ERK) overactivity, and thereby to neurodegeneration. Also, MAPK(ERK) overactivity in microglia, as a factor in the pathophysiology of MS, could explain ongoing neurodegeneration in MS patients despite optimized immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory treatment. Currently, for these patients with progressive disease, no effective treatment exists. In such refractory MS, targeting the cause of overactive MAPK(ERK) in microglia merits further investigation as this phenomenon may imply a novel treatment approach.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftJournal of Molecular Medicine
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 5-mei-2021

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