Involvement of the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling pathway in multiple sclerosis and the animal model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Academic Article


  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) are characterized by focal inflammatory infiltrates into the central nervous system, demyelinating lesions, axonal damage, and abundant production of cytokines that activate immune cells and damage neurons and oligodendrocytes, including interleukin-12 (IL-12), IL-6, IL-17, IL-21, IL-23, granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor, and interferon-gamma. The Janus Kinase/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling pathway mediates the biological activities of these cytokines and is essential for the development and regulation of immune responses. Dysregulation of the JAK/STAT pathway contributes to numerous autoimmune diseases, including MS/EAE. The JAK/STAT pathway is aberrantly activated in MS/EAE because of excessive production of cytokines, loss of expression of negative regulators such as suppressors of cytokine signaling proteins, and significant enrichment of genes encoding components of the JAK/STAT pathway, including STAT3. Specific JAK/STAT inhibitors have been used in numerous preclinical models of MS and demonstrate beneficial effects on the clinical course of disease and attenuation of innate and adaptive immune responses. In addition, other drugs such as statins, glatiramer acetate, laquinimod, and fumarates have beneficial effects that involve inhibition of the JAK/STAT pathway. We conclude by discussing the feasibility of the JAK/STAT pathway as a target for neuroinflammatory diseases. © 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Benveniste EN; Liu Y; McFarland BC; Qin H
  • Start Page

  • 577
  • End Page

  • 588
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 8