May 31st, "nature-Communication" journal (Nature Communications 2017, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15508) was published online a research paper done by Professor Wang Chenhui in College of life science and technology of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, which entitled "IL-17 induced NOTCH1 activation in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells enhances proliferation and inflammatory gene expression". Professor Wang is the first author and co-corresponding author of this paper, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology is the first affiliation of completion of the project.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of central nervous system, which is much more common in western countries, and the diseases’ incidence in China was increasing in recent years. MS usually presents the course of remission and recurrence, and occurs frequently in the optic nerve, spinal cord and brain stem. It is frequently occurring in the middle age, and at present, there is no effective treatment for this disease, and the existing drugs can only alleviate and delay the disease process, and cannot cure the disease. Some of the patients eventually suffered from paralysis which greatly impair the quality of life. In particular, this disease is prevalent occur among the young people, and poses a huge burden on the family and society.
Recent years, studies have found that Th17 cells and their secreted cytokine-IL-17 play an important role in the pathogenesis and development of MS. But the mechanism of how IL-17 acts on the central nervous system and its molecular mechanism is still unclear. Professor Wang's study found that IL-17 acts on oligodendrocytes progenitor cells in the central nervous system and activates the NOTCH signaling pathway. IL-17 induced NOTCH activation is critical for the development and progression of the disease, mainly by influencing the expression of downstream cytokine molecules. Because NOTCH signaling pathway has been investigated a lot in the past, people have already found many small molecule inhibitors to block NOTCH pathway, so this research suggests that these small molecular inhibitors might be a good drugs candidates for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Professor Wang joined life science and technology of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in September 2015, and won the award of thirteenth “thousand program of young talent” in 2016. The main interest of professor Wang’s lab is to study the molecular mechanism of autoimmune diseases, and also try to find the new targets for tumor-immunotherapy. His aim is to understand the molecular mechanism the diseases, and provide more targets and methods for the treatment of diseases.