Experts from Switzerland have found that in cold conditions affects the development of multiple sclerosis, the harmful activity of the immune system is weakened. A researcher’s article on the beneficial properties of cold was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Multiple sclerosis is the most common autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. In it, the cells of the immune system destroy myelin – the protective “shell” of neurons, which plays an important role in signaling. This leads to neurological disorders, in particular paralysis. “The protective mechanisms of our body against the unfavorable environment of energy consumption. When activating several, they may be limited by mutual influence, “said Mirko Trajkowski, lead author and professor at the University of Geneva.
Scientists have suggested that the addition of such an energy-intensive program may mitigate the immune response and, consequently, during multiple sclerosis. To test their hypothesis, they began to reduce the average habitat temperature of mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis – an analogue of multiple sclerosis in rodents – until it reached ten degrees Celsius. “After a few days, we saw both a marked decrease in the clinical severity of the disease and a decrease in demyelination in the central nervous system,” said one of the researchers, University of Geneva professor Doron Merkler. While the animals maintained their body temperature at a normal level, the researchers found that the symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders were significantly reduced.
The researchers found that cold reduces the ability of antigen-presenting monocytes to “instruct” T cells to recognize foreign elements. In autoimmune diseases, the antigens of “their” cells are confused with foreign ones. The need to maintain body temperature in the cold takes away resources from the immune system, thereby reducing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. The researchers emphasize that the results of their study are relevant not only for neuroinflammation, but also for other immune-related diseases.
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