Mesenchymal stromal cell transplant induces re-myelination in a multiple sclerosis model

Written on Monday 29 September 2014

Demyelinating diseases such as leukodystrophies and multiple sclerosis are neurodegenerative diseases characterized by a progressive loss of myelin and cells responsible for its synthesis, the oligodendrocytes.

Upon demyelination, the cells giving rise to oligodendrocytes are activated and can migrate towards the injured zone where they change into oligodendrocytes. Unfortunately, when demyelination becomes chronic, the cells lose this ability.

The activation of the cells giving rise to oligodendrocytes depends on the presence of nutrient factors. Many of these factors are produced by bone marrow stem cells called mesenchymal stromal cells.
The aim of this study was to test the effects of a cell therapy using these cells in a multiple sclerosis model with chronic demyelination.

After injection of the stem cells into the brains of the sick mouse, the cells giving rise to oligodendrocytes were attracted around and inside the infused zone and changed into oligodendrocytes capable of generating myelin. This therapy also allows nerve conduction speed to be significantly increased in the treated area.

Thus, the transplantation of mesenchymal stromal cells allows the activation of cells giving rise to oligodendrocytes and the re-myelination of tissues around the treated zone. These preliminary results indicate a possible stem cell-based therapy for multiple sclerosis by transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells in the brain.

Disease: Multiple sclerosis
Experimental model: Mice treated with cuprizone, the animal model for multiple sclerosis
Study type: Therapeutic approach
Laboratory: Dr Salvador Martinez, Institute of Neurosciences, Miguel Hernandez University, Alicante, Spain
Funding: ELA

Source : J. Jaramillo-Merchán, J. Jones, J.L. Ivorra, D. Pastor, M.C. Viso-León, J.A. Armengól, M.D. Moltó, E. Geijo-Barrientos, S. Martínez. Mesenchymal stromal-cell transplants induce oligodendrocyte progenitor migration and remyelination in a chronic demyelination model. Cell Death Dis. 2013, 4(8):e779.  

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