Inhibition of GM-CSF signalling cascades in the central nervous system: A new strategy to enhance repair and halt disease progression in multiple sclerosis

University of Glasgow

Past award

Student: Diana Arseni

Year Award Started: 2015

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common cause of chronic disability among young adults in the UK, and affects over 1 in 500 people in Scotland. However, despite recent advances in the clinical management of MS we still lack any effective treatment to halt accumulation of disability in this devastating disease. This failure reflects our ignorance as to what is actually happening within the patient’s nervous system. However, our preliminary studies indicate a protein termed GM-CSF plays a major role in driving lesion development. Not only is GM-CSF present in MS lesions, but our findings suggest this factor may induce a feedback loop that exacerbates tissue damage and drives disease progression. This is an important observation as drugs are already available that inhibit GM-CSF mediated effects in other diseases, and may, therefore, prove beneficial in MS. This project will determine how GM-CSF modulates immune reactivity and exacerbates tissue damage in the central nervous system, and explore whether these detrimental effects can be inhibited using treatments developed to block GM-CSF mediated effects in rheumatoid arthritis.

Research area: Neurological conditions (including stroke)


Professor Christopher Linington
Institute for Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
Dr Julia Edgar
Institute for Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

MedImmune Ltd