Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Research: Immune-mediated model to study remyelination

Epub ahead of printHampton et al . Focal Immune-Mediated White Matter Demyelination Reveals an Age-Associated Increase in Axonal Vulnerability and Decreased Remyelination Efficiency.Am J Pathol. 2012 Mar 15. 

In addition to being an established risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases, age is increasingly recognized as adversely influencing regeneration. Accumulating evidence also suggests that age plays important, although poorly understood, roles with respect to course and prognosis in the degenerative and untreatable later phase of multiple sclerosis. Two experimental models ofmultiple sclerosis have been particularly influential in modeling the different aspects of neuronal injury and regeneration: global experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and focal toxin-mediated injury. Against this background, we report a focal model of immune-mediated demyelinating injury that reliably generates targeted primary demyelination and axonal injury. A detailed pathologic characterization of this model, modified extensively from an earlier study, showed that aged adult animals exhibited increased vulnerability to axonal injury and reduced efficiency of remyelination compared with younger animals. More important, remyelination in aged animals was predominantly Schwann cell (Peripheral nerve myelinating cell) mediated, in contrast to the central oligodendrocyte-mediated remyelination that predominated in younger rodents. Together, these findings establish an experimental platform to further study the influence of age on injury and repair in a biologically relevant model of human demyelinating injury.


Dave Hampton who is based in Edinburgh often works with Team G on EAE with shows multiple lesions scattered around the brain and spinal cord. In this study they generate animals with only a single lesion, which is better for the animal as it will have less neurological problems to deal with. This can be used as yet another way to hunt for remyelination. However it is some way off producing something that will promote repair, it just gives a new way to detect something that can.

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