Friday, September 15, 2023

The Inverse Vaccine's Crusade Against Multiple Sclerosis and Other Autoimmune Diseases

In the human body, there are many diverse communities working together to protect and nourish their beloved realm. The humblest among them are the Peasant Microbes from our microbiome, the first line of defense, always ready to shield their territory from the nefarious invaders keen on causing havoc.

And then there is the skin - the high stone walls of the castle, which act as a barrier to prevent the invaders from entering. These walls are fortified with various defensive structures like water barriers and parapets, representing the different layers of the immune system that use various methods to deter the assault of pathogens. 

Then, we have the Jedi Masters of the immune system, the T cells. These are seasoned warriors, adept in distinguishing friend from foe. They patrol our body, teaching the younger warriors the art of recognizing and defeating the intruders. They hold the precious memories of past battles, ensuring that future attacks can be fended off swiftly and efficiently.

However, there came a time when these warriors could no longer tell friend from foe, leading them to attack the very thing they were sworn to protect - the Myelin, a protective sheath that covered the nerves of the kingdom, the pathways that communicated messages throughout the land. This tragedy unfolded as a vicious disease, making the residents suffer from weakness, numbness, and the loss of vital functionalities.

In the midst of this crisis, the magical "Inverse Vaccine" was proposed, which promised to restore peace and harmony in the land.

This Inverse Vaccine was a gentle teacher invoking mechanisms of immune tolerance. Through the utilization of a special sugar called N-acetylgalactosamine or pGal, it marked molecules with "do not attack" flags, mimicking the peaceful liver’s natural process of marking aged cells as friends, not foes. These molecules were sent to the great Liver School, where the T cell warriors were educated to differentiate between the true invaders and the kingdom's loyal citizens.

The T cells, now wise and compassionate, ceased their attack on the loyal myelin. This allowed the nerves to flourish once again, reviving the kingdom to its original glory, where each component worked in unison, guarding their territory while nurturing their community, promising a future of health and prosperity.


Tremain, A.C., Wallace, R.P., Lorentz, K.M. et al. Synthetically glycosylated antigens for the antigen-specific suppression of established immune responses. Nat. Biomed. Eng 7, 1142–1155 (2023).

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