Promoting myelin repair and return of function in multiple sclerosis

Jingya Zhang, Elisabeth G. Kramer, Linnea Asp, Dipankar J. Dutta, Kristina Navrazhina, Trinh Pham, John N. Mariani, Azeb Tadesse Argaw, Carmen V. Melendez-Vasquez, Gareth R. John

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the CNS. Conduction block in demyelinated axons underlies early neurological symptoms, but axonal transection and neuronal loss are believed to be responsible for more permanent chronic deficits. Several therapies are approved for treatment of relapsing-remitting MS, all of which are immunoregulatory and clinically proven to reduce the rate of lesion formation and exacerbation. However, existing approaches are only partially effective in preventing the onset of disability in MS patients, and novel treatments to protect myelin-producing oligodendrocytes and enhance myelin repair may improve long-term outcomes. Studies in vivo in genetically modified mice have assisted in the characterization of mechanisms underlying the generation of neuropathology in MS patients, and have identified potential avenues for oligodendrocyte protection and myelin repair. However, no treatments are yet approved that target these areas directly, and in addition, the relationship between demyelination and axonal transection in the lesions of the disease remains unclear. Here, we review translational research targeting oligodendrocyte protection and myelin repair in models of autoimmune demyelination, and their potential relevance as therapies in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3813-3820
Number of pages8
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • Axonal transection
  • Demyelination
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuroprotection
  • Regeneration


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