Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the brain in which blood vessels and the fatty tissue that insulates nerve cells myelin are damaged. How the brain tissues are damaged remains unknown. We have identified a toxin that is produced by the intestinal bacterium Clostridium perfringens as a possible cause of MS. This bacterial toxin named epsilon toxin specifically damages brain blood vessels and brain myelin. Additionally we have found that epsilon toxin damages immune cells in the blood called T cells. In this study we wish to collect blood from MS patients who are currently experiencing symptoms. We will test these blood samples for the presence of epsilon toxin. Damage to T cells by epsilon toxin also causes indirect damage to neighboring red blood cells the cells that carry oxygen in the blood. We have found that copper and iron released from toxin exposed T cells causes red blood cells to swell and breakdown more easily than normal. For these reasons we also wish to determine the mechanism by which copper and iron release is triggered by T cell toxin exposure.



Eligible Ages
Between 18 and 100
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Study Design

Study Type

More Details

Rockefeller University

Study Contact

Recruitment Office


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