A study conducted on mice offers a new type of immunotherapy approach for treating Alzheimer’s disease. This involves amplifying a specific population of T lymphocytes that regulate immune and neuroinflammatory mechanisms that develop during the disease.
These results are published in the journal Brain.
In recent years, a body of substantive work has enabled the start of gaining further insight into complex immune and neuroinflammatory mechanisms associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers offer further proof of concept on the efficacy of innovative immunotherapy strategy in mice that is based on an immunomodulation approach.
Researchers have shown, in earlier work with mice, that a specific population of T lymphocytes, known as T regulators (or Treg), modulated specific Ab peptide T lymphocytes that accumulate in the brains of sick people. Researchers chose to evaluate the effect of Treg cells on disease progression using a mouse model.
To do this, they either depleted or amplified Treg cells at the early stage of the disease. They found that a Treg deficiency accelerated the onset of cognitive disorders and was associated with a decrease in the presence of microglial cells in deposits of Ab peptide.
By contrast, prolonged Treg amplification using low doses of interleukin-2 injected intraperitoneally increases the microglial cell response and delays the onset of memory impairment.
This immunomodulation approach involving the injection of low doses of interleukin-2, already tested in some bone marrow transplant clinical protocols and for type 1 diabetes, now seems to be a new therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers are already planning a pilot clinical trial in humans and are also considering the possibility of modulating some specific sub-populations of T lymphocytes to refine the response.