Niaspan treatment improves neurological functional recovery in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mice

Neurobiol Dis. 2008 Nov;32(2):273-80. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2008.07.011. Epub 2008 Jul 29.


We investigated the treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice with Niaspan, an agent used to elevate high-density lipoprotein (HDL). EAE mice were treated with Niaspan starting on the immunization or clinical onset day. Neurological functional recovery was significantly increased in the Niaspan treated mice (100 mg/kgbw) compared to the controls. Inflammatory infiltrates were significantly reduced in the Niaspan treatment group compared to the EAE controls. HDL level, intact myelin area, newly formed oligodendrocytes, regenerating axons, gene and protein levels of sonic hedgehog (Shh)/Gli1 were significantly increased in the Niaspan treated mice compared to EAE controls. These data indicate that Niaspan treatment improved functional recovery after EAE, possibly, via reducing inflammatory infiltrates and demyelination areas, and stimulating oligodendrogenesis and axonal regeneration. Niaspan-mediated activation of Shh/Gli1 pathway may promote functional recovery post-EAE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cholesterol, HDL / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / metabolism
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Hedgehog Proteins / genetics
  • Hedgehog Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Myelin Proteolipid Protein / adverse effects
  • Nerve Regeneration / drug effects
  • Niacin / therapeutic use*
  • Oligodendroglia / drug effects
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism
  • Recovery of Function / drug effects*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Spinal Cord / drug effects
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Spinal Cord / physiopathology
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use*


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Myelin Proteolipid Protein
  • Shh protein, mouse
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Niacin