Molecular Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 5–6, pp 442–447 | Cite as

The Therapeutic Potential of HDAC Inhibitors in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

  • Giuseppe Faraco
  • Leonardo Cavone
  • Alberto Chiarugi
Review Article


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a devastating autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) for which there is no efficacious cure. Thanks to numerous preclinical and clinical studies, drugs able to mitigate the inexorable course of the disease have been made available recently. Still, there is a terrible need for compounds capable of reducing the severity of the autoimmune attack and of blocking progression of the disorder. Also, besides the classic immunosuppressive strategies, it is now appreciated that compounds directly targeting neuronal death can be of relevance to the treatment of MS patients. Acetylation homeostasis is a key regulator of both immune cell activation and neuronal survival. Of note, potent histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) endowed with antiinflammatory and neuroprotective properties have been identified. Efficacy of HDACi in experimental models of MS has been reported consistently. In this review, we provide an appraisal of the literature on HDACi and MS, also discussing the mechanisms by which HDACi can suppress the autoimmune attack to the CNS.



This work was supported by funds from Fondazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla.


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Copyright information

© The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Faraco
    • 1
  • Leonardo Cavone
    • 2
  • Alberto Chiarugi
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Neurobiology, Department of Neurology and NeuroscienceWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Preclinical and Clinical PharmacologyUniversity of FlorenceFirenze, FlorenceItaly

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