News

Tue, 06/10/2020
Dr. Beatrice Wasser awarded DGfI Herbert Fischer Prize for Neuroimmunology
Each year, the German Society for Immunology (DGfI) recognizes young scientists who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of immunology. This year, Dr. Beatrice Wasser, a Postdoc in the group of Prof. Frauke Zipp and Prof. Stefan Bittner in the Department of Neurology, was award the Herbert Fischer Prize for Neuroimmunology for her […]...more
Tue, 08/09/2020
Study with identical twins shows that the early form of multiple sclerosis has a specific pattern
The tremendous heterogeneity of the human population presents a major obstacle in understanding how autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) contribute to variations in human peripheral immune signatures. To minimize heterogeneity, SFB researchers from Munich and Muenster made use of a unique cohort of 43 monozygotic twin pairs clinically discordant for MS and searched for […]...more
Mon, 09/03/2020
Breakthrough: SFB scientsists explain pathomechanism of Susac Syndrome
Münster. Neuroinflammation is often associated with blood-brain-barrier dysfunction, which contributes to neurological tissue damage. In a paper published in the renowned journal Nature Communications SFB 128 scientists from Mueenster reveal the pathophysiology of Susac syndrome (SuS), an enigmatic neuroinflammatory disease with central nervous system (CNS) endotheliopathy. By investigating immune cells from the blood, cerebrospinal fluid, […]...more


Wed, 23/11/2016 | Featured publication: Imaging matrix metalloproteinase activity in multiple sclerosis as a specific marker of leukocyte penetration of the blood-brain barrier

Münster – The enzymes gelatinase A/matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and gelatinase B/MMP-9 are essential for induction of neuroinflammatory symptoms in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS). In the absence of these enzymes, the disease does not develop. SFB128 scientists of Prof. Dr. Lydia Sorokin’s group, therefore, investigated the cellular sources and relative contributions of MMP-2 and MMP-9 to disease at early stages of EAE induction. They demonstrated that MMP-9 from an immune cell source is required in EAE for initial infiltration of leukocytes into the central nervous system and that MMP-9 activity is a reliable marker of leukocyte penetration of the blood-brain barrier.
The neuroscientists then developed a molecular imaging method to visualize MMP activity in the brain using fluorescent- and radioactive-labeled MMP inhibitors (MMPis).
By using radioactive MMP ligand in EAE animals the Muenster neuroscientists produced positron emission tomography (PET) images of MMP activity in patients with MS.
In contrast to traditional T1-gadolinium contrast-enhanced MRI, MMPi-PET enabled tracking of MMP activity as a unique feature of early lesions and ongoing leukocyte infiltration.
MMPi-PET therefore allows monitoring of the early steps of MS development and provides sensitive, noninvasive means of following lesion formation and resolution in murine EAE and human MS, the neuroscientists conclude. Their work was part of the SFB projects B03 and Z02.