Research ArticleImmunology

Aspirin ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis through interleukin-11–mediated protection of regulatory T cells

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Science Signaling  27 Nov 2018:
Vol. 11, Issue 558, eaar8278
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aar8278

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Aspirin protects Tregs

Aspirin is a common pain reliever that inactivates the enzyme cyclooxygenase, which is required for the synthesis of inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxane. Mondal et al. found that aspirin also reduced the development of disease in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE), a model of multiple sclerosis (MS), by reversing the depletion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) that occurs during the disease. The effects of aspirin required the cytokine IL-11, which was itself sufficient to promote Treg stability and protect the mice from EAE development. These data suggest that low-dose aspirin regimens may benefit patients with MS.