A human immune system is a lot like the board game Mouse Trap: it’s a Rube Goldberg system of interacting parts. Only instead of a falling ball causing a tiny diver to leap into a tub—which, in turn, springs a trap on some plastic mice—proteins trigger other proteins to activate immune cells and direct them toward germs. But if those proteins mistakenly direct immune cells toward healthy tissue, autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis--which attacks neurons--can arise. A new study led by Kelly Monaghan—a researcher/PhD student at the West Virginia University School of Medicine—suggests that part of the “Rube Goldberg” immune system shows promise as a potential target for MS therapies.
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