Neuroscience

Rescuing remyelination

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Science  24 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6366, pp. 1016-1017
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6366.1016-b

Targeting the blood-clotting protein fibrinogen could help promote brain repair after injury. In many brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, neurons lose their myelin coating, reducing their ability to transmit signals. Petersen et al. have discovered that when the blood-brain barrier is disrupted, fibrinogen from the blood leaks into the central nervous system and blocks myelination by activating the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. These precursors then fail to differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes needed for myelin repair. Inhibiting a BMP receptor in cultured oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and depleting fibrinogen in an animal model of demyelination enhanced remyelination, raising the possibility of new therapies for brain damage.

Neuron 96, 1 (2017).

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