MS is considered an autoimmune disease which leads to inflammatory demyelinating plaques in the white matter of the central nervous system (CNS). However, recent pathological studies of MS show that the disease is complex and heterogeneous. Lesions essentially similar to those seen in MS can be induced in experimental animals by autoimmunization with brain antigens. This model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is commonly used to study the pathogenesis of the disease and to test new therapeutic approaches. However, EAE reflects only part of the pathological spectrum of MS. There are many different EAE models available that deal with different specific aspects of the disease, but there is no single EAE model that mimics MS as a whole. For these reasons EAE, in its broad spectrum, is a useful model to study specific questions of MS pathology and pathogenesis, but its usefulness for testing new MS therapies is limited. Proper selection of the most suitable EAE model to answer any specific question is essential.
© 2007 Elsevier Masson SAS. Tous droits réservés.