Study reveals potential target for reversing damage caused by MS
Cambridge (UK) – Damage caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) can be reversed by activating stem cells that can repair injury in the central nervous system, researchers from the University of Cambridge reported on Sunday (Nature Neuroscience, doi:10.1038/nn.2702). A team, headed by Robin Franklin, has identified the factor that supports the process of spontanous remyelination. During remyelination of rat oligodendrocytes injured by treatment with a toxin, Franklin and colleagues found genes overexpressing that encode the retinoid acid receptor RXR-gamma. Administration of the RXR-gamma agonist 9-/cis/-retinoic acid to demyelinated cerebellar slice cultures and to aged rats after demyelination caused an increase in remyelinated axons. According to the researchers, RXR-gamma is a positive regulator of endogenous oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation and remyelination and might be a pharmacological target for regenerative therapy in the central nervous system. The researchersknow will try to identify which genes are regulated by RXR-gamma.