As part of a need to understand myelin repair mechanisms, molecular pathways underlying oligodendrocyte behavior and central nervous system (CNS) remyelination are currently key topics in multiple sclerosis (MS). In the present study, we report expression of a chemoattractant receptor of the immune system, the chemokine receptor, CXCR2, on normal and proliferating oligodendrocytes in active MS lesions. Proliferating oligodendrocytes were occasionally associated with reactive astrocytes positive for CXCL1 (GRO-alpha), the ligand for CXCR2. CXCL1 expression was not seen on astrocytes in control and normal CNS tissue, while CXCR2 expression was constitutive on oligodendrocytes. At the functional level, following stimulation with the proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), we found high-level synthesis of CXCL1 by human fetal astrocytes in vitro. In contrast, human oligodendrocytes in culture expressed the receptor, CXCR2, constitutively. We propose that the concurrence of CXCR2 on oligodendrocytes and induced CXCL1 on hypertrophic astrocytes in MS provides a novel mechanism for recruitment of oligodendrocytes to areas of damage, an essential prerequisite for lesion repair in this devastating human condition.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.