NEURODEGENERATION

Deconstructing cell death in MS

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Science  10 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6231, pp. 197-198
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6231.197-e

Oligodendrocytes are often referred to as “support” cells for neurons, but in fact they play a critical role in the transmission of nerve impulses. These cells produce the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects axons in the central nervous system. In multiple sclerosis (MS), this myelin sheath erodes because of an inflammatory reaction that triggers the death of oligodendrocytes. Several distinct mechanisms of cell death exist, and understanding which one underlies oligodendrocyte death could lead to new therapies. Studying mouse models of MS, Ofengeim et al. find that oligodendrocytes die by a regulated process called necroptosis. A small-molecule inhibitor of a protein kinase that mediates necroptosis prevented oligodendrocyte death in the mouse models.

Cell Rep. 10, 1836 (2015).

IMAGE: C. MORENO ET AL., NANO LETTERS (10 MARCH 2015) © 2015 AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY

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