A derivative of vitamin E aids in the repair of myelin in multiple sclerosis

Written on Wednesday 15 October 2014

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that causes demyelination and axonal loss, resulting in a severe neurological handicap.

Current treatments of MS are mainly aimed towards neuro-inflammation and have a minor impact on myelin repair in the CNS. A treatment that stimulates remyelination would represent a major advance in the treatment of the disease.

The cells giving rise to those that make myelin can repair lesions of the CNS. However, in most cases remyelination fails, leading to an irreversible neurological handicap.

The abilities of a new synthetic molecule, a derivative of vitamin E called TFA-12, to promote regeneration of oligodendrocytes (the cells making myelin) and remyelination were studied in experimental models of MS.

TFA-12 significantly improves the neurological deficit and the severity of MS induced in mice. It reduces inflammation and myelin loss. TFA-12 promotes remyelination by stimulating the transformation of cells giving rise to oligodendrocytes to mature oligodendrocytes.

In conclusion, the TFA-12 molecule could be a potential candidate to carry out myelin repair in MS.

Disease:  Multiple sclerosis
Experimental model:  EAE mice, the animal model of multiple sclerosis
Study type: Myelin repair
Laboratory: Dr Brahim Nait-Oumesmar, Research Centre of the Institute of the Brain and the Spinal Cord (ICM), Paris, France.
Funding: ELA

Source : B. Blanchard, T. Heurtaux, C. Garcia, N.M. Moll, C. Caillava, L. Grandbarbe, A. Klosptein, C. Kerninon, M. Frah, D. Coowar, A. Baron-Van Evercooren, E. Morga, P. Heuschling, B. Nait Oumesmar. Tocopherol derivative TFA-12 promotes myelin repair in experimental models of multiple sclerosis. J. Neurosci. 2013, 33(28):11633-42.

Scientific information provided in collaboration with the INIST-CNRS Institute, Institute for Scientific and Technical Information