Author(s): Khalili K, White MK, Lublin F, Ferrante P, Berger JR
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Abstract The attention of researchers and clinicians specializing in both multiple sclerosis (MS) and JC virus (JCV), the etiologic agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), was rekindled by the development of PML in two patients with MS enrolled in a clinical trial of combination therapy with natalizumab (Tysabri) and interferon beta-1A (Avonex) in recent years. PML had not been previously reported with either MS or treatment with interferon beta alone. This occurrence of PML with alpha4beta1-integrin inhibition in MS raised a number of issues in terms both of the scientific understanding of these diseases and for the future of immunomodulatory treatment for MS. In this review, we examine the current status of knowledge of the virus, its molecular biology, life cycle, and pathogenetic mechanisms, and how this relates to the basic science and clinical perspectives of MS. A better understanding of the specific steps from JCV infection to the development of PML is key to this issue. Other critical issues for further investigation include the role of alpha4beta1-integrin inhibition by natalizumab in the re-expression of JCV from latent sites and in the inhibition of entry into the brain and peripheral sites.
This article was published in Neurology
and referenced in Journal of Transplantation Technologies & Research