[Disease concept, etiology and mechanisms of multiple sclerosis]

Jun Ichi Kira

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system(CNS). MS is assumed to be caused by a complex interplay between genes and environments. Autoimmune mechanisms targeting CNS myelin has long been proposed, yet it has not been proved. Th17 cells producing interleukin-17 and Th1 cells producing interferon-gamma are postulated to play major roles in initiating inflammation while regulatory T cell functions are dampened. The forth nationwide survey of MS in Japan revealed that MS prevalence showed four-folds increase over 30 years and the increase was especially prominent in female. Thus, westernized life style and improved sanitation are suspected to increase MS susceptibility. Genome-wide association studies in Western MS patients disclosed more than 100 disease-susceptibility genes, most of which are immune-related genes. It therefore supports immune-mediated mechanisms to be operative. Detailed magnetic resonance imaging studies revealed an early atrophy of the cerebral gray matter where T cell infiltration is pathologically scarce. Therefore, neurodegenerative process also takes place in the early course beside neuroinflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1884-1894
Number of pages11
JournalNihon rinsho. Japanese journal of clinical medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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