Robin J M Franklin

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (275)1713.59 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Remyelination is the regenerative response to demyelination. Although the oligodendrocyte progenitor is established as the major source of remyelinating cells, there is no conclusive evidence on whether mature, differentiated oligodendrocytes can also contribute to remyelination. Using two different inducible myelin-CreER mouse strains in which mature oligodendrocytes were prelabeled by the expression of membrane-bound Green fluorescent protein, we found that after focal spinal cord demyelination, the surrounding surviving labeled oligodendrocytes did not proliferate but remained at a consistent density. Furthermore, existing (prelabeled) oligodendrocytes showed no evidence of incorporation or migration into the lesioned area, or of process extension from the peripheral margins into the lesion. Thus, mature oligodendrocytes do not normally contribute to remyelination and are therefore not a promising target for regenerative therapy.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · American Journal Of Pathology
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    ABSTRACT: Remyelination in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions often remains incomplete despite the presence of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). Amongst other factors, successful remyelination depends on the phagocytic clearance of myelin debris. However, the proteins in myelin debris that act as potent and selective inhibitors on OPC differentiation and inhibit CNS remyelination remain unknown. Here, we identify the transmembrane signalling protein EphrinB3 as important mediator of this inhibition, using a protein analytical approach in combination with a primary rodent OPC assay. In the presence of EphrinB3, OPCs fail to differentiate. In a rat model of remyelination, infusion of EphrinB3 inhibits remyelination. In contrast, masking EphrinB3 epitopes using antibodies promotes remyelination. Finally, we identify EphrinB3 in MS lesions and demonstrate that MS lesion extracts inhibit OPC differentiation while antibody-mediated masking of EphrinB3 epitopes promotes it. Our findings suggest that EphrinB3 could be a target for therapies aiming at promoting remyelination in demyelinating disease.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Acta Neuropathologica

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · The Journal of Cell Biology
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    Full-text · Dataset · Nov 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) differentiation is an important therapeutic target to promote remyelination in multiple sclerosis (MS). We previously reported hyperphosphorylated and aggregated microtubule-associated protein tau in MS lesions, suggesting its involvement in axonal degeneration. However, the influence of pathological tau-induced axonal damage on the potential for remyelination is unknown. Therefore, we investigated OPC differentiation in human P301S tau (P301S-htau) transgenic mice, both in vitro and in vivo following focal demyelination. In 2-month-old P301S-htau mice, which show hyperphosphorylated tau in neurons, we found atrophic axons in the spinal cord in the absence of prominent axonal degeneration. These signs of early axonal damage were associated with microgliosis and an upregulation of IL-1β and TNFα. Following in vivo focal white matter demyelination we found that OPCs differentiated more efficiently in P301S-htau mice than wild type (Wt) mice. We also found an increased level of myelin basic protein within the lesions, which however did not translate into increased remyelination due to higher susceptibility of P301S-htau axons to demyelination-induced degeneration compared to Wt axons. In vitro experiments confirmed higher differentiation capacity of OPCs from P301S-htau mice compared with Wt mice-derived OPCs. Because the OPCs from P301S-htau mice do not ectopically express the transgene, and when isolated from newborn mice behave like Wt mice-derived OPCs, we infer that their enhanced differentiation capacity must have been acquired through microenvironmental priming. Our data suggest the intriguing concept that damaged axons may signal to OPCs and promote their differentiation in the attempt at rescue by remyelination. GLIA 2015.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Glia
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    ABSTRACT: The efficiency of central nervous system remyelination declines with age. This is in part due to an age-associated decline in the phagocytic removal of myelin debris, which contains inhibitors of oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation. In this study, we show that expression of genes involved in the retinoid X receptor pathway are decreased with ageing in both myelin-phagocytosing human monocytes and mouse macrophages using a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches. Disruption of retinoid X receptor function in young macrophages, using the antagonist HX531, mimics ageing by reducing myelin debris uptake. Macrophage-specific RXRα (Rxra) knockout mice revealed that loss of function in young mice caused delayed myelin debris uptake and slowed remyelination after experimentally-induced demyelination. Alternatively, retinoid X receptor agonists partially restored myelin debris phagocytosis in aged macrophages. The agonist bexarotene, when used in concentrations achievable in human subjects, caused a reversion of the gene expression profile in multiple sclerosis patient monocytes to a more youthful profile and enhanced myelin debris phagocytosis by patient cells. These results reveal the retinoid X receptor pathway as a positive regulator of myelin debris clearance and a key player in the age-related decline in remyelination that may be targeted by available or newly-developed therapeutics.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Brain
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    ABSTRACT: Myelin regeneration can occur spontaneously in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the underlying mechanisms and causes of its frequent failure remain incompletely understood. Here we show, using an in-vivo remyelination model, that demyelinated axons are electrically active and generate de novo synapses with recruited oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), which, early after lesion induction, sense neuronal activity by expressing AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid)/kainate receptors. Blocking neuronal activity, axonal vesicular release or AMPA receptors in demyelinated lesions results in reduced remyelination. In the absence of neuronal activity there is a ∼6-fold increase in OPC number within the lesions and a reduced proportion of differentiated oligodendrocytes. These findings reveal that neuronal activity and release of glutamate instruct OPCs to differentiate into new myelinating oligodendrocytes that recover lost function. Co-localization of OPCs with the presynaptic protein VGluT2 in MS lesions implies that this mechanism may provide novel targets to therapeutically enhance remyelination.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Myeloid phagocytes, including blood monocytes recruited to demyelinating lesions, may play a dual role in MS: on one hand, they might enhance CNS damage after differentiating toward a proinflammatory phenotype; on the other, they promote remyelination and repair through effective phagocytosis of myelin debris. We have previously determined that the retinoid X receptor (RXR) plays an important role in monocyte phagocytosis of myelin. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ is an RXR binding partner that plays a key role in myeloid cell biology and is targeted by the thiazolidinedione group of antidiabetics such as pioglitazone. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to determine if monocyte functions and differentiation profiles differ in MS patients compared to healthy volunteers (HV) and whether pioglitazone can reverse these differences to promote CNS recovery. Methods: Monocytes were isolated from MS patients and HV (n ≥ 36/group), and their ability to phagocytose myelin and modulate inflammation in the presence/absence of 1 μmol/L pioglitazone (the in vivo achievable concentration) was quantified by flow cytometry, transcriptional profiling, and proteomic assays. Results: MS monocytes display impaired phagocytosis of myelin debris and enhanced proinflammatory differentiation. Pioglitazone treatment causes partial normalization of identified monocyte abnormalities in MS and fully reverses the deficit in myelin phagocytosis. Interpretation: These findings suggest that by inhibiting proinflammatory differentiation of monocytes and enhancing their phagocytosis of myelin, pioglitazone may be a useful adjunct therapy to immunomodulatory agents that target dysregulated adaptive immunity in MS.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Progressive degeneration and death of neurons are main causes of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Although some current medicines may temporarily improve their symptoms, no treatments can slow or halt the progression of neuronal death. In this study, a pyrimidine derivative, benzyl 7-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-5-methyl-4,7-dihydrotetrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine-6-carboxylate (BHDPC), was found to attenuate dramatically the MPTP-induced death of dopaminergic neurons and improve behavior movement deficiency in zebrafish, supporting its potential neuroprotective activity in vivo. Further study in rat organotypic cerebellar cultures indicated that BHDPC was able to suppress MPP(+)-induced cell death of brain tissue slices ex vivo. The protective effect of BHDPC against MPP(+) toxicity was also effective in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells through restoring abnormal changes in mitochondrial membrane potential and numerous apoptotic regulators. Western blotting analysis indicated that BHDPC was able to activate PKA/CREB survival signaling and further up-regulate Bcl2 expression. However, BHDPC failed to suppress MPP(+)-induced cytotoxicity and the increase of caspase 3 activity in the presence of the PKA inhibitor H89. Taken together, these results suggest that BHDPC is a potential neuroprotectant with prosurvival effects in multiple models of neurodegenerative disease in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Free Radical Biology and Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The Sox family of transcription factors have been widely studied in the context of oligodendrocyte development. However, comparatively little is known about the role of Sox2, especially during CNS remyelination. Here we show that the expression of Sox2 occurs in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) in rodent models during myelination and in activated adult OPCs responding to demyelination, and is also detected in multiple sclerosis lesions. In normal adult white matter of both mice and rats, it is neither expressed by adult OPCs nor by oligodendrocytes (although it is expressed by a subpopulation of adult astrocytes). Overexpression of Sox2 in rat OPCs in vitro maintains the cells in a proliferative state and inhibits differentiation, while Sox2 knockout results in decreased OPC proliferation and survival, suggesting that Sox2 contributes to the expansion of OPCs during the recruitment phase of remyelination. Loss of function in cultured mouse OPCs also results in an impaired ability to undergo normal differentiation in response to differentiation signals, suggesting that Sox2 expression in activated OPCs also primes these cells to eventually undergo differentiation. In vivo studies on remyelination following experimental toxin-induced demyelination in mice with inducible loss of Sox2 revealed impaired remyelination, which was largely due to a profound attenuation of OPC recruitment and likely also due to impaired differentiation. Our results reveal a key role of Sox2 expression in OPCs responding to demyelination, enabling them to effectively contribute to remyelination.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • A. Guzman de la Fuente · R. J. M. Franklin

    No preview · Conference Paper · Aug 2015

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Remyelination within the central nervous system (CNS) most often is the result of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells differentiating into myelin-forming oligodendrocytes. In some cases, however, Schwann cells, the peripheral nervous system myelinating glia, are found remyelinating demyelinated regions of the CNS. The reason for this peripheral type of remyelination in the CNS and what governs it is unknown. Here, we used a conditional astrocytic phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 knockout mouse model to investigate the effect of abrogating astrocyte activation on remyelination after lysolecithin-induced demyelination of spinal cord white matter. We show that oligodendrocyte-mediated remyelination decreases and Schwann cell remyelination increases in lesioned knockout mice in comparison with lesioned controls. Our study shows that astrocyte activation plays a crucial role in the balance between Schwann cell and oligodendrocyte remyelination in the CNS, and provides further insight into remyelination of CNS axons by Schwann cells. Copyright © 2015 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · American Journal Of Pathology
  • Robin J M Franklin
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    ABSTRACT: Stimulating an endogenous regenerative response is a powerful approach for potential treatment of chronic demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Recently in Nature, Najm et al. (2015) identified two clinically relevant, FDA-approved compounds that promote oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation and induce remyelination in demyelinating disease models. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Cell stem cell
  • Robin J M Franklin · Steven A Goldman
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    ABSTRACT: The inability of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) to undergo spontaneous regeneration has long been regarded as a central tenet of neurobiology. However, although this is largely true of the neuronal elements of the adult mammalian CNS, save for discrete populations of granular neurons, the same is not true of its glial elements. In particular, the loss of oligodendrocytes, which results in demyelination, triggers a spontaneous and often highly efficient regenerative response, remyelination, in which new oligodendrocytes are generated and myelin sheaths are restored to denuded axons. Yet, remyelination in humans is not without limitation, and a variety of demyelinating conditions are associated with sustained and disabling myelin loss. In this review, we will review the biology of remyelination, including the cells and signals involved; describe when remyelination occurs and when and why it fails and the consequences of its failure; and discuss approaches for therapeutically enhancing remyelination in demyelinating diseases of both children and adults, both by stimulating endogenous oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and by transplanting these cells into demyelinated brain. Copyright © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the role of the complement activation fragment C5a in secondary pathology following contusive spinal cord injury (SCI). C5ar(-/-) mice, which lack the signaling receptor for C5a, displayed signs of improved locomotor recovery and reduced inflammation during the first week of SCI compared with wild-type mice. Intriguingly, the early signs of improved recovery in C5ar(-/-) mice deteriorated from day 14 onward, with absence of C5aR ultimately leading to poorer functional outcomes, larger lesion volumes, reduced myelin content, and more widespread inflammation at 35 d SCI. Pharmacological blockade of C5aR with a selective antagonist (C5aR-A) during the first 7 d after SCI improved recovery compared with vehicle-treated mice, and this phenotype was sustained up to 35 d after injury. Consistent with observations made in C5ar(-/-) mice, these improvements were, however, lost if C5aR-A administration was continued into the more chronic phase of SCI. Signaling through the C5a-C5aR axis thus appears injurious in the acute period but serves a protective and/or reparative role in the post-acute phase of SCI. Further experiments in bone marrow chimeric mice suggested that the dual and opposing roles of C5aR on SCI outcomes primarily relate to its expression on CNS-resident cells and not infiltrating leukocytes. Additional in vivo and in vitro studies provided direct evidence that C5aR signaling is required during the postacute phase for astrocyte hyperplasia, hypertrophy, and glial scar formation. Collectively, these findings highlight the complexity of the inflammatory response to SCI and emphasize the importance of optimizing the timing of therapeutic interventions. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356517-15$15.00/0.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • Miki Furusho · Aude J. Roulois · Robin J. M. Franklin · Rashmi Bansal
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    ABSTRACT: Remyelination is a potent regenerative process in demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, the effective therapeutic promotion of which will fill an unmet clinical need. The development of proregenerative therapies requires the identification of key regulatory targets that are likely to be involved in the integration of multiple signaling mechanisms. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling system, which comprises multiple ligands and receptors, potentially provides one such target. Since the FGF/FGF receptor (FGFR) interactions are complex and regulate multiple diverse functions of oligodendrocyte lineage cells, it is difficult to predict their overall therapeutic potential in the regeneration of oligodendrocytes and myelin. Therefore, to assess the integrated effects of FGFR signaling on this process, we simultaneously inactivated both FGFR1 and FGFR2 in oligodendrocytes and their precursors using two Cre-driver mouse lines. Acute and chronic cuprizone-induced or lysolecithin-induced demyelination was established in Fgfr1/Fgfr2 double knockout mice (dKO). We found that in the acute cuprizone model, there was normal differentiation of oligodendrocytes and recovery of myelin in the corpus callosum of both control and dKO mice. Similarly, in the spinal cord, lysolecithin-induced demyelinated lesions regenerated similarly in the dKO and control mice. In contrast, in the chronic cuprizone model, fewer differentiated oligodendrocytes and less efficient myelin recovery were observed in the dKO compared to control mice. These data suggest that while cell-autonomous FGF signaling is redundant during recovery of acute demyelinated lesions, it facilitates regenerative processes in chronic demyelination. Thus, FGF-based therapies have potential value in stimulating oligodendrocyte and myelin regeneration in late-stage disease. GLIA 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Glia
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) in specific areas of the central nervous system (CNS) supports tissue maintenance as well as regeneration. The subependymal zone (SEZ), located at the lateral ventricle's wall, represents a niche for NSPCs and in response to stroke or demyelination becomes activated with progenitors migrating towards the lesion and differentiating into neurons and glia. The mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon remain largely unknown. The vascular niche and in particular blood-derived elements such as platelets, has been shown to contribute to CNS regeneration in different pathological conditions. Indeed, intracerebroventricularly administrated platelet lysate (PL) stimulates angiogenesis, neurogenesis and neuroprotection in the damaged CNS. Here, we explored the presence of platelets in the activated SEZ after a focal demyelinating lesion in the corpus callosum of mice and we studied the effects of PL on proliferating SEZ-derived NSPCs in vitro. We showed that the lesion-induced increase in the size of the SEZ and in the number of proliferating SEZ-resident NSPCs correlates with the accumulation of platelets specifically along the activated SEZ vasculature. Expanding on this finding, we demonstrated that exposure of NSPCs to PL in vitro led to increased numbers of cells by enhanced cell survival and reduced apoptosis without differences in proliferation and in the differentiation potential of NSPCs. Finally, we demonstrate that the accumulation of platelets within the SEZ is spatially correlated with reduced numbers of apoptotic cells when compared to other periventricular areas. In conclusion, our results show that platelet-derived compounds specifically promote SEZ-derived NSPC survival and suggest that platelets might contribute to the enlargement of the pool of SEZ NSPCs that are available for CNS repair in response to injury. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Experimental Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: The declining efficiency of myelin regeneration in individuals with multiple sclerosis has stimulated a search for ways by which it might be therapeutically enhanced. Here we have used gene expression profiling on purified murine oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), the remyelinating cells of the adult CNS, to obtain a comprehensive picture of how they become activated after demyelination and how this enables them to contribute to remyelination. We find that adult OPCs have a transcriptome more similar to that of oligodendrocytes than to neonatal OPCs, but revert to a neonatal-like transcriptome when activated. Part of the activation response involves increased expression of two genes of the innate immune system, IL1β and CCL2, which enhance the mobilization of OPCs. Our results add a new dimension to the role of the innate immune system in CNS regeneration, revealing how OPCs themselves contribute to the postinjury inflammatory milieu by producing cytokines that directly enhance their repopulation of areas of demyelination and hence their ability to contribute to remyelination. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/350004-17$15.00/0.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
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    Muktha Sundar Natrajan · Bibiana Bielekova · Robin J. M. Franklin

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2015

Publication Stats

14k Citations
1,713.59 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1990-2016
    • University of Cambridge
      • • Department of Veterinary Medicine
      • • Brain Repair Centre
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2014
    • Neural Stem Cell Institute
      رنسلیر، نیویورک, New York, United States
  • 2013
    • Cambridge Cell Networks
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom