A supplement for myelin regeneration

December 7, 2015
A supplement for myelin regeneration
In a control brain slice (left), most axons (red) have regained a myelin sheath (green) eight days after demyelination. But regeneration is impaired when VDR is inhibited (right). Credit: De la Fuente et al., 2015

Multiple sclerosis patients continually lose the insulating myelin sheath that wraps around neurons and increases the speed of impulses in the central nervous system. Whenever neurons are demyelinated, OPCs migrate toward these cells and differentiate into mature, myelin-producing oligodendrocytes, but this process becomes less and less effective as people age.

A nuclear receptor protein called retinoid X receptor gamma (RXRgamma) is known to promote OPC differentiation and remyelination, but, because generally function in pairs, a team of researchers led by Robin Franklin at the University of Cambridge, UK, set out to identify RXRgamma's binding partners and investigate their possible role in remyelination.

RXRγ bound to several nuclear receptors, including VDR, in OPCs and mature oligodendrocytes. Inhibiting VDR impaired OPC differentiation and reduced the cells' ability to remyelinate axons ex vivo. In contrast, Vitamin D, which binds and activates VDR, boosted OPC differentiation.

Low D levels have been linked to the onset of multiple sclerosis, and the researchers' findings suggest that the vitamin might also affect disease progression by controlling regeneration, a critical step to alleviate the disease's symptoms that fails as patients age. VDR-activating drugs might therefore be able to enhance remyelination in multiple sclerosis patients and in suffering from other demyelinating diseases.

Explore further: Cell therapy promotes axon remyelination in a mouse model

More information: De la Fuente, A.G., et al. 2015. J Cell Biol. dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201505119

Related Stories

Cell therapy promotes axon remyelination in a mouse model

August 18, 2016
Demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and leukodystrophy, are characterized by damage to the protective myelin sheath that surrounds the axons of neurons. This demyelination can be caused by an autoimmune response ...

Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms involved in remyelination

September 3, 2015
Researchers in Japan have revealed the molecular mechanism involved in the process of repair to damage of the myelin sheath.

Enzyme in myelination process could lead to better understanding of neurological disorders

April 14, 2016
The removal of the enzyme Dnmt1 during oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) differentiation in the central nervous system resulted in inefficient myelin formation and neurological deterioration, including loss of control ...

Androgenic hormones could help treat multiple sclerosis, study finds

January 30, 2013
Testosterone and its derivatives could constitute an efficient treatment against myelin diseases such as multiple sclerosis, reveals a study by researchers from the Laboratoire d'Imagerie et de Neurosciences Cognitives. Myelin ...

Hopes for reversing age-associated effects in MS patients

January 6, 2012
New research highlights the possibility of reversing ageing in the central nervous system for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The study is published today, 06 January, in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Myelin cells swing along blood vessels to traverse the brain

January 22, 2016
The cells that create myelin, a fatty material that insulates nerve fibers in the brain's white matter, migrate into the developing brain by climbing and swinging on blood vessels, according to new research led by UC San ...

Recommended for you

Our memory shifts into high gear when we think about raising our children, new study shows

December 15, 2017
Human memory has evolved so people better recall events encountered while they are thinking about raising their offspring, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New ...

Offbeat brain rhythms during sleep make older adults forget

December 15, 2017
Like swinging a tennis racket during a ball toss to serve an ace, slow and speedy brainwaves during deep sleep must sync up at exactly the right moment to hit the save button on new memories, according to new UC Berkeley ...

Study finds graspable objects grab attention more than images of objects do

December 15, 2017
Does having the potential to act upon an object have a unique influence on behavior and brain responses to the object? That is the question Jacqueline Snow, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, ...

Little understood cell helps mice see color

December 14, 2017
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have discovered that color vision in mice is far more complex than originally thought, opening the door to experiments that could potentially lead to new treatments ...

Scientists chart how brain signals connect to neurons

December 14, 2017
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have used supercomputers to create an atomic scale map that tracks how the signaling chemical glutamate binds to a neuron in the brain. The findings, say the scientists, shed light on the dynamic ...

Journaling inspires altruism through an attitude of gratitude

December 14, 2017
Gratitude does more than help maintain good health. New research at the University of Oregon finds that regularly noting feelings of gratitude in a journal leads to increased altruism.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.