Laboratory of Neuroimmunology / Multiple Sclerosis

The neuroimmunology / Multiple Sclerosis Laboratory (NIS), directed by Prof. Renaud Du Pasquier, is twinned with the Experimental Neuroimmunology Lab (LNIE).

The lab’s main research subject is the study of the physio-pathogenesis of demyelinating illnesses. This theme is explored through three different lines of research:

  • Onset mechanisms of multiple sclerosis: interaction between the innate immune response (monocytes, dendritic cells) and the adaptative one (lymphocytes T CD8+ in particular). In this context, we study in detail the immune response toward Epstein-Barr virus, which is associated with a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

In collaboration with the Cellular and Molecular Neurotherapy Laboratory of Prof. N. Déglon, one is currently developing an in vitro model of neural cells derived from patient blood samples, the so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), in order to assess the effect of immune cells on neural targets.

  • Immunopathogenesis of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a demyelinating illness caused by the JC virus. Previously a rather rare illness, this infection occurs in some patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis and have been treated with the monoclonal antibody natalizumab.
  • HIV patients suffering from neurological complications (see the neuro-HIV platform): setting up a cohort of HIV positive patients in French-speaking Switzerland to answer a series of research questions (cognitive disorders in HIV infection, biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid predictive of cognitive disorder, pilot treatment study for cognitive disorders linked to HIV, etc.)

Magnetic resonance imaging is the primary, non-invasive method for studying lesions caused by multiple sclerosis. Recently, Dr Cristina Granziera joined the NIS Unit to lead a research project that is being carried out in conjunction with the Neuroimaging Research Lab (LREN) and the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM).

The NIS Unit, under the guidance of Dr Myriam Schluep, is making a considerable contribution to the search for effective treatments for multiple sclerosis (studies in phase II and III) by contributing and following patients in multi-centric treatment studies.

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 Last updated on 23/01/2019 at 17:29