Of mice and men: experimental autoimmune encephalitis and multiple sclerosis

Authors

  • Adam E. Handel,

    1. Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
    2. Department of Clinical Neurology, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
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  • Matthew R. Lincoln,

    1. Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
    2. Department of Clinical Neurology, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
    3. Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • Sreeram V. Ramagopalan

    1. Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
    2. Department of Clinical Neurology, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
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Dr Sreeram V. Ramagopalan, The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford, OX3 7BN, UK. Tel.: +44 1865 287659; fax: +44 1865 287501; e-mail: sreeramr@well.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

Eur J Clin Invest 2011; 41 (11): 1254–1258

Abstract

Background  Research using experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE) models accounts for almost 20% of the papers. published in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods  We performed a literature review of papers indexed with ISI Web of Science on EAE and MS over the last 30 years and a detailed analysis of studies of molecular pathways in EAE published in 2008 and 2009.

Results  The impact of EAE studies declines more rapidly than other studies published on MS (EAE cited corrected half-life = 4·00 years vs. MS cited corrected half-life = 9·66 years, P < 0·0001). The pathology of EAE differs quite markedly from that observed in the human disease. EAE has implicated many different genes as important to pathogenesis but only a minority of these are supported by human studies.

Conclusions  Future research should critically appraise precisely what is being modelled by EAE before drawing conclusions about human disease.

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