Central nervous system remyelination in culture--a tool for multiple sclerosis research

Exp Neurol. 2011 Jul;230(1):138-48. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2011.04.009. Epub 2011 Apr 16.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2',3'-Cyclic-Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases / metabolism
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Antigens / metabolism
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / chemically induced
  • Demyelinating Diseases / pathology
  • Demyelinating Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines / toxicity
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Biological
  • Myelin Basic Protein / metabolism*
  • Myelin Sheath / metabolism
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology*
  • Neurofilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Oligodendroglia / physiology
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / physiology


  • Antigens
  • Lysophosphatidylcholines
  • Myelin Basic Protein
  • Neurofilament Proteins
  • Proteoglycans
  • RNA, Messenger
  • chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4
  • neurofilament protein H
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • 2',3'-Cyclic-Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases
  • Bromodeoxyuridine