Professor Tim Tree, King’s College London
£106,640.92 | May 2019 - October 2024
Summary: Our immune systems are made up of several different cell types that work together to fight infections. One of these cell types, called ‘regulatory T-cells’ or ‘T-regs’, ensures that the system works as it should, only starting an immune response in the presence of infection. People living with MND are often found to have a reduced number of T-regs or they have T-regs that don’t work as they should. It’s thought this malfunction in T-regs could contribute to the progression of MND by the accidental damage to motor neurons as a result of inappropriate immune responses.
The MIROCALS clinical trial tested a treatment, low dose IL-2, for its ability to increase the number of T-regs in people living with MND and slow the progression of the disease. Professor Tree and his team are analysing blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from participants in the trial to identify the key mechanisms that underpin how this treatment works.
Why this research is important: This project will provide valuable insights about how the power of the immune system can be harnessed to tackle MND, and provide supporting evidence on whether low dose IL-2 could be a good treatment option for people living with MND.
You can find out more about this project here, and further information about the MIROCALS trial can be found here. Please note, the Foundation is not a member of the MIROCALS consortium and findings from Professor Tree’s work are not required for the publication of trial results.