2016 IASP Developing Countries Collaborative Research Grant Winners

"Effects of crotoxin on the Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis induced demyelination™ a multimodal imaging approach"


Crotoxin is a toxin from the rattlesnake that presents immuno-modulatory, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-tumor effects. We are currently studying its effect on the pain and clinical signs observed in the Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis, an animal model of multiple sclerosis. We have demonstrated that crotoxin, besides causing analgesia, induces a delay in the onset and a decrease of the intensity on the clinical signals. In addition, it induces a parcial recovery in the locomotor function of the animals. Besides that, crotoxin decreases the proliferation and differentiation of T cells, decreases the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increases the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines collected from plasma and splenocytes culture. All these interference with the immune response interfere with the demyelination process, that is characteristic of EAE and ultimately responsible for motor alterations observed in this disease. Then, the specific goals of the collaboration with the Neuroimaging group of NeuroSpin Institute (CEA) is to evaluate/quantify the brain myelin content during the progression of the EAE model using ultra-high field diffusion-weighting MRI (DWI) and MR-based myelin-water fraction (MWF) mapping and to evaluate the anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulatory properties of crotoxin in MOG-induced EAE mice using [18F]DPA-714 and [11C]MEDAS PET imaging and immunohistochemistry.