Human endogenous retroviruses in multiple sclerosis: potential for novel neuro-pharmacological research

Curr Neuropharmacol. 2011 Jun;9(2):360-9. doi: 10.2174/157015911795596568.


There is growing evidence that the env genes of two or more human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) of the W family are contributing to the inflammatory processes, and thus to the pathogenesis, of multiple sclerosis (MS). Increasing understanding of the human endogenous retroviral locus, ERVWE1, and the putative multiple sclerosis associated retrovirus, or MSRV, and in particular of the HERV-W env sequences associated with these, offers the potential of new lines of pharmacological research that might assist diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of multiple sclerosis.

Keywords: HERV-W; MS; MS-associated retrovirus; MSRV; Multiple Sclerosis; acute relapsing MS; autoimmunity; genetic symbiogenesis.; human endogenous retroviruses; human genome; secondary-progressive MS.