Animal models of multiple sclerosis: the good, the bad and the bottom line

Nat Neurosci. 2012 Jul 26;15(8):1074-7. doi: 10.1038/nn.3168.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a spontaneous, acquired, inflammatory demyelinating disease of the human CNS. Because it involves a complex interaction between two of the most intricate biological systems, immune system and CNS, animal modeling has been critical for addressing MS pathogenesis. MS models were originally developed serendipitously more than 75 years ago. Immune-mediated, toxic, viral and genetic models of demyelination are now used to understand the manifold aspects of MS. MS treatments evolved in part from animal model research, and further progress is envisaged in large part because these systems have been continually refined and their use focused on questions whose relevance was established by studying the human disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / immunology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*