Report

Contact-Dependent Demyelination by Mycobacterium leprae in the Absence of Immune Cells

Science  03 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5569, pp. 927-931
DOI: 10.1126/science.1067631

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

Demyelination results in severe disability in many neurodegenerative diseases and nervous system infections, and it is typically mediated by inflammatory responses. Mycobacterium leprae, the causative organism of leprosy, induced rapid demyelination by a contact-dependent mechanism in the absence of immune cells in an in vitro nerve tissue culture model and inRag1-knockout (Rag1 −/−) mice, which lack mature B and T lymphocytes. Myelinated Schwann cells were resistant to M. leprae invasion but undergo demyelination upon bacterial attachment, whereas nonmyelinated Schwann cells harbor intracellular M. leprae in large numbers. During M. leprae–induced demyelination, Schwann cells proliferate significantly both in vitro and in vivo and generate a more nonmyelinated phenotype, thereby securing the intracellular niche forM. leprae.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: rambuka{at}mail.rockefeller.edu

View Full Text

Cited By...