The translational biology of remyelination: past, present, and future

Glia. 2014 Nov;62(11):1905-15. doi: 10.1002/glia.22622. Epub 2014 Jan 20.


Amongst neurological diseases, multiple sclerosis (MS) presents an attractive target for regenerative medicine. This is because the primary pathology, the loss of myelin-forming oligodendrocytes, can be followed by a spontaneous and efficient regenerative process called remyelination. While cell transplantation approaches have been explored as a means of replacing lost oligodendrocytes, more recently therapeutic approaches that target the endogenous regenerative process have been favored. This is in large part due to our increasing understanding of (1) the cell types within the adult brain that are able to generate new oligodendrocytes, (2) the mechanisms and pathways by which this achieved, and (3) an emerging awareness of the reasons why remyelination efficiency eventually fails. Here we review some of these advances and also highlight areas where questions remain to be answered in both the biology and translational potential of this important regenerative process.

Keywords: multiple sclerosis; progenitor; remyelination.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Demyelinating Diseases* / pathology
  • Demyelinating Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Demyelinating Diseases* / therapy
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Translational Research, Biomedical* / history
  • Translational Research, Biomedical* / methods
  • Translational Research, Biomedical* / trends