Molecular Effects of FDA-Approved Multiple Sclerosis Drugs on Glial Cells and Neurons of the Central Nervous System

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by peripheral and central inflammatory features, as well as demyelination and neurodegeneration. The available Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs for MS have been designed to suppress the peripheral immune system. In addition, however, the effects of these drugs may be partially attributed to their influence on glial cells and neurons of the central nervous system (CNS). We here describe the molecular effects of the traditional and more recent FDA-approved MS drugs Fingolimod, Dimethyl Fumarate, Glatiramer Acetate, Interferon-β, Teriflunomide, Laquinimod, Natalizumab, Alemtuzumab and Ocrelizumab on microglia, astrocytes, neurons and oligodendrocytes. Furthermore, we point to a possible common molecular effect of these drugs, namely a key role for NFκB signaling, causing a switch from pro-inflammatory microglia and astrocytes to anti-inflammatory phenotypes of these CNS cell types that recently emerged as central players in MS pathogenesis. This notion argues for the need to further explore the molecular mechanisms underlying MS drug action.

More about this NDR research can be read in the Open Access journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences:

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