The efficacy of many new immunomodulatory therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients has often been disappointing, reflecting our incomplete understanding of this enigmatic disease. There is a growing awareness that, at least in part, there may be limited applicability to the human disease of results obtained in the widely studied MS model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in rodents. This review describes the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model developed in a small neotropical primate, the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). The model has features including clinicopathologic correlation patterns, lesion heterogeneity, immunologic mechanisms, and disease markers that more closely mimic the human disease. Several unique features of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in marmosets, together with their outbred nature and close genetic and immunologic similarities to humans, create an attractive experimental model for translational research into MS, particularly for the preclinical evaluation of new biologic therapeutic molecules that cannot be investigated in rodents because of their species specificity. Moreover, this model provides new insights into possible pathogenetic mechanisms in MS.

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Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

't Hart, B.A, & Massacesi, L. (2009). Clinical, pathological, and immunologic aspects of the multiple sclerosis model in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology (Vol. 68, pp. 341–355). doi:10.1097/NEN.0b013e31819f1d24