News Releases & Research Results Elucidation of the mechanism for the generation of pathogenic lymphocytes associated with progressive multiple sclerosis as an intractable nervous disease: the important role of prolactin in the induction of chronic inflammation in the brain

News Releases & Research Results


Research results of the team led by Director Takashi Yamamura, Section Chief Shinji Oki, and Researcher Chenyang Zhang of the Department of Immunology, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP).

Key points of research results

  • It was demonstrated that prolactin, the milk secretion stimulating hormone, plays an important role in the pathogenic progression of chronic inflammation in the brain, in an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Specifically, immune cells penetrated into the brain and were altered to produce large amounts of prolactin, which in turn induced lymphocytes associated with inflammation, resulting in aggravation of chronic encephalitis.
  • A therapeutic effect of the drug inhibiting prolactin secretion was also demonstrated for chronic inflammation in the brain. These results are expected to lead to the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases of the nervous system.

This research was supported by Practical Research Project for Rare/Intractable Diseases by AMED.

These results were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America online, dated October 1.



Last updated 10/01/19