[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), inflammatory axonal injury is a major determinant of disability; however, the drivers of this injury are incompletely understood. Here, we used the EAE model and determined that the extracellular matrix protein matrilin-2 (MATN2) is an endogenous neuronal molecule that is regulated in association with inflammatory axonal injury. Compared with WT mice, mice harboring a deletion of Matn2 exhibited reduced disease severity and axon damage following induction of EAE. Evaluation of neuron-macrophage cocultures revealed that exogenous MATN2 specifically signals through TLR4 and directly induces expression of proinflammatory genes in macrophages, promoting axonal damage. Moreover, the MATN2-induced proinflammatory response was attenuated greatly in macrophages from Myd88 KO mice. Examination of brain sections from patients with MS revealed that MATN2 is expressed in lesions but not in normal-appearing white matter. Together, our results indicate that MATN2 is a deleterious endogenous neuroaxonal injury response signal that activates innate immune cells and could contribute to early axonal damage in CNS inflammatory diseases like MS.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms involved in oligodendroglial cell death in human demyelinating diseases are only partly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the BH3 only protein Puma, but not Noxa, is essential for oligodendroglial cell death in toxic demyelination induced by the copper chelator cuprizone. Primary oligodendrocytes derived from Noxa- or Puma-deficient mice showed comparable differentiation to wild-type cells, but Puma-deficient oligodendrocytes were less susceptible to spontaneous, staurosporine, or nitric oxide-induced cell death. Furthermore, Puma was expressed in oligodendrocytes in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions and Puma mRNA levels were upregulated in primary human oligodendrocytes upon cell death induction by staurosporine. Our data demonstrate that Puma is pivotal for oligodendroglial cell death induced by different cell death stimuli and might play a role in oligodendroglial cell death in MS. GLIA 2013.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis is the most frequent demyelinating disease in the human CNS characterized by inflammation, demyelination, relative axonal loss and gliosis. Remyelination occurs, but is frequently absent or restricted to a small remyelinated rim at the lesion border. Impaired differentiation of oligodendroglial precursor cells is one factor contributing to limited remyelination, especially in chronic MS. TCF7L2 is an oligodendroglial transcription factor regulating myelin gene expression during developmental myelination as well as remyelination. TCF7L2 binds to co-effectors such as β-catenin or histone deacetylases and thereby activates or inhibits the transcription of downstream genes involved in oligodendroglial differentiation. To determine whether TCF7L2 can be used as a marker for differentiating or myelinating oligodendrocytes, we analyzed the expression patterns of TCF7L2 during myelination and remyelination in human and murine CNS tissue samples. Here, we demonstrate that marked expression of TCF7L2 in oligodendrocytes is restricted to a well defined time period during developmental myelination in human and mouse CNS tissue samples. In demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, TCF7L2 is reexpressed in oligodendrocytes in a subset of MS patients, but is also present in tissue samples from patients with non-demyelinating, inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, TCF7L2 expression was also detected in astrocytes. HDAC2, a potential binding partner of TCF7L2 that promotes oligodendroglial differentiation and myelination, is expressed in the majority of oligodendrocytes in controls and MS tissue samples. In summary, our data demonstrate that the expression of TCF7L2 in oligodendrocytes is limited to a certain differentiation stage; however the expression of TCF7L2 is neither restricted to the oligodendroglial lineage nor to (re-)myelinating conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laquinimod (LAQ) is a new oral immunomodulatory compound that reduces relapse rate, brain atrophy and disability progression in multiple sclerosis (MS). LAQ has well-documented effects on inflammation in the periphery, but little is known about its direct activity within the central nervous system (CNS). To elucidate the impact of LAQ on CNS-intrinsic inflammation, we investigated the effects of LAQ on cuprizone-induced demyelination in mice in vivo and on primary CNS cells in vitro. Demyelination, inflammation, axonal damage and glial pathology were evaluated in LAQ-treated wild type and Rag-1-deficient mice after cuprizone challenge. Using primary cells we tested for effects of LAQ on oligodendroglial survival as well as on cytokine secretion and NF-κB activation in astrocytes and microglia. LAQ prevented cuprizone-induced demyelination, microglial activation, axonal transections, reactive gliosis and oligodendroglial apoptoses in wild type and Rag-1-deficient mice. LAQ significantly decreased pro-inflammatory factors in stimulated astrocytes, but not in microglia. Oligodendroglial survival was not affected by LAQ in vitro. Astrocytic, but not microglial, NF-κB activation was markedly reduced by LAQ as evidenced by NF-κB reporter assay. LAQ also significantly decreased astrocytic NF-κB activation in cuprizone-treated mice. Our data indicate that LAQ prevents cuprizone-induced demyelination by attenuating astrocytic NF-κB activation. These effects are CNS-intrinsic and not mediated by peripheral immune cells. Therefore, LAQ downregulation of the astrocytic pro-inflammatory response may be an important mechanism underlying its protective effects on myelin, oligodendrocytes and axons. Modulation of astrocyte activation may be an attractive therapeutic target to prevent tissue damage in MS.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00401-012-1009-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most frequent demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that affects worldwide about 2.5 million people. The morphological correlates of the disease are multiple lesions in brain and spinal cord which are characterized by demyelination, inflammation, gliosis and axonal damage. The underlying cause for the permanent neurological deficits in MS patients is axonal loss. Demyelinated axons are prone to damage due to the lack of trophic support by myelin sheaths and oligodendrocytes, as well as the increased vulnerability to immune mediated attacks. Remyelination occurs, but especially in chronic lesions is frequently limited to a small rim at the lesion border. Current treatment strategies are based on anti-inflammatory or immunomodulatory drugs and have the potential to reduce the numbers of newly evolving lesions, although as yet no treatment strategy exists to influence or prevent the progressive disease phase. Therefore, the development of neuroprotective treatment options, such as the promotion of endogenous remyelination is an attractive strategy. A prerequisite for the development of such new treatments is the understanding of the mechanisms leading to remyelination and the reasons for insufficient endogenous repair in chronic MS. This review will therefore provide an overview of the current concepts regarding remyelination in the rodent and human CNS. We will also summarize a selected number of inhibitory pathways and non-disease related factors which may contribute to remyelination failure in chronic MS.
No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Histology and histopathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oligodendroglial damage and loss are typical characteristics of demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and the leukodystrophies. Axonal loss is the underlying cause of permanent neurological deficits in MS and it is thought to arise from a combination of immune-mediated axonal damage and the loss of trophic support to axons from myelin sheaths after demyelination. Prevention of oligodendroglial damage or death and demyelination are therefore attractive neuroprotective treatment strategies. However, a better understanding of mechanisms leading to oligodendroglial damage and demyelination is a prerequisite for the development of such treatment options. Here, we demonstrate that X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP), the most potent member of the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAP) family is expressed in oligodendrocytes in vivo and in vitro. Increased expression of XIAP is associated with protection against selected cell death pathways, whereas decreased expression increases oligodendroglial cell death in vitro. However, lack of XIAP does not modulate oligodendroglial cell death in toxic demyelination in vivo.