Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system which only affects humans. This makes it difficult to study at a molecular level, and to develop and test potential therapies that may change the course of the disease. The development of therapies to promote remyelination in multiple sclerosis is a key research aim, to both aid restoration of electrical impulse conduction in nerves and provide neuroprotection, reducing disability in patients. Testing a remyelination therapy in the many and various in vivo models of multiple sclerosis is expensive in terms of time, animals and money. We report the development and characterisation of an ex vivo slice culture system using mouse brain and spinal cord, allowing investigation of myelination, demyelination and remyelination, which can be used as an initial reliable screen to select the most promising remyelination strategies. We have automated the quantification of myelin to provide a high content and moderately-high-throughput screen for testing therapies for remyelination both by endogenous and exogenous means and as an invaluable way of studying the biology of remyelination.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.