Myelin in the Central Nervous System: Structure, Function, and Pathology.
Stadelmann Christine,Timmler Sebastian,Barrantes-Freer Alonso,Simons Mikael
Oligodendrocytes generate multiple layers of myelin membrane around axons of the central nervous system to enable fast and efficient nerve conduction. Until recently, saltatory nerve conduction was considered the only purpose of myelin, but it is now clear that myelin has more functions. In fact, myelinating oligodendrocytes are embedded in a vast network of interconnected glial and neuronal cells, and increasing evidence supports an active role of oligodendrocytes within this assembly, for example, by providing metabolic support to neurons, by regulating ion and water homeostasis, and by adapting to activity-dependent neuronal signals. The molecular complexity governing these interactions requires an in-depth molecular understanding of how oligodendrocytes and axons interact and how they generate, maintain, and remodel their myelin sheaths. This review deals with the biology of myelin, the expanded relationship of myelin with its underlying axons and the neighboring cells, and its disturbances in various diseases such as multiple sclerosis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders. Furthermore, we will highlight how specific interactions between astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia contribute to demyelination in hereditary white matter pathologies.
The pro-remyelination properties of microglia in the central nervous system.
Lloyd Amy F,Miron Veronique E
Nature reviews. Neurology
Microglia are resident macrophages of the CNS that are involved in its development, homeostasis and response to infection and damage. Microglial activation is a common feature of neurological disorders, and although in some instances this activation can be damaging, protective and regenerative functions of microglia have been revealed. The most prominent example of the regenerative functions is a role for microglia in supporting regeneration of myelin after injury, a process that is critical for axonal health and relevant to numerous disorders in which loss of myelin integrity is a prevalent feature, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease and motor neuron disease. Although drugs that are intended to promote remyelination are entering clinical trials, the mechanisms by which remyelination is controlled and how microglia are involved are not completely understood. In this Review, we discuss work that has identified novel regulators of microglial activation - including molecular drivers, population heterogeneity and turnover - that might influence their pro-remyelination capacity. We also discuss therapeutic targeting of microglia as a potential approach to promoting remyelination.
Tracking the evolution of CNS remyelinating lesion in mice with neutral red dye.
Baydyuk Maryna,Cha David S,Hu Jingwen,Yamazaki Reiji,Miller Evan M,Smith Victoria N,Kelly Katherine A,Huang Jeffrey K
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Animal models of central nervous system (CNS) demyelination, including toxin-induced focal demyelination and immune-mediated demyelination through experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), have provided valuable insights into the mechanisms of neuroinflammation and CNS remyelination. However, the ability to track changes in transcripts, proteins, and metabolites, as well as cellular populations during the evolution of a focal lesion, has remained challenging. Here, we developed a method to label CNS demyelinating lesions by the intraperitoneal injection of a vital dye, neutral red (NR), into mice before killing. We demonstrate that NR-labeled lesions can be easily identified on the intact spinal cord in both lysolecithin- and EAE-mediated demyelination models. Using fluorescence microscopy, we detected NR in activated macrophages/microglia and astrocytes, but not in oligodendrocytes present in lesions. Importantly, we successfully performed RT-qPCR, Western blot, flow cytometry, and mass spectrometry analysis of precisely dissected NR-labeled lesions at 5, 10, and 20 d postlesion (dpl) and found differential changes in transcripts, proteins, cell populations, and metabolites in lesions over the course of remyelination. Therefore, NR administration is a simple and powerful method to track and analyze the detailed molecular, cellular, and metabolic changes that occur within the lesion microenvironment over time following CNS injury. Furthermore, this method can be used to identify molecular and metabolic pathways that regulate neuroinflammation and remyelination and facilitate the development of therapies to promote repair in demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis.