Gene therapy for remyelination in MS model

Axons (green) in mouse hippocampus lose all myelin (purple) after 12 weeks of cuprizone treatment (left). Although some spontaneous remyelination occurs (center), remyelination is greatly increased by LIF (right). See the article by Deverman and Patterson for details.

Although it is not really relevant for the main topics of this blog, I am compelled to note that Ben Deverman, a senior fellow in our laboratory, has a new article out today, which is highlighted by the journal. He reports that it is possible to completely remyelinate a part of the hippocampus that was demyelinated in an adult mouse model that shares some similarity with multiple sclerosis (MS). His therapy involves administering a viral vector that codes for the cytokine leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). He is now working on constructing an inducible viral vector so that he can turn the LIF gene on and off externally and target the virus to specific cells in the brain. This type of vector is very important for future efficacy and safety of gene therapy.

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