Increasing evidence suggests a key role for tissue energy failure in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a commonly used model of MS, have been instrumental in illuminating the mechanisms that may be involved in compromising energy production. In this article, we review recent advances in EAE research focussing on factors that conspire to impair tissue energy metabolism, such as tissue hypoxia, mitochondrial dysfunction, production of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, and sodium dysregulation, which are directly affected by energy insufficiency, and promote cellular damage. A greater understanding of how inflammation affects tissue energy balance may lead to novel and effective therapeutic strategies that ultimately will benefit not only people affected by MS but also people affected by the wide range of other neurological disorders in which neuroinflammation plays an important role.
Keywords: Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; multiple sclerosis; tissue energy metabolism.