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Salate derivatives found in sunscreens block experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice

Wang, Y;Marling, SJ;Plum, LA;DeLuca, HF;

UV light suppresses experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a widely used animal model of MS, in mice and may be responsible for the decreased incidence of MS in equatorial regions. To test this concept further, we applied commercially available sunblock preparations to mice before exposing them to UV radiation. Surprisingly, some of the sunblock preparations blocked EAE without UV radiation. Furthermore, various sunblock preparations had variable ability to suppress EAE. By examining the components of the most effective agents, we identified homosalate and octisalate as the components responsible for suppressing EAE. Thus, salates may be useful in stopping the progression of MS, and may provide new insight into mechanisms of controlling autoimmune disease.