Fractalkine enhances oligodendrocyte regeneration and remyelination in a demyelination mouse model

Stem Cell Reports. 2023 Feb 14;18(2):519-533. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2022.12.001. Epub 2023 Jan 5.


Demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) occur when myelin and oligodendrocytes are damaged or lost. Remyelination and regeneration of oligodendrocytes can be achieved from endogenous oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) that reside in the adult CNS tissue. Using a cuprizone mouse model of demyelination, we show that infusion of fractalkine (CX3CL1) into the demyelinated murine brain increases de novo oligodendrocyte formation and enhances remyelination in the corpus callosum and cortical gray matter. This is achieved by increased OPC proliferation in the cortical gray matter as well as OPC differentiation and attenuation of microglia/macrophage activation both in corpus callosum and cortical gray matter. Finally, we show that activated OPCs and microglia/macrophages express fractalkine receptor CX3CR1 in vivo, and that in OPC-microglia co-cultures fractalkine increases in vitro oligodendrocyte differentiation by modulating both OPC and microglia biology. Our results demonstrate a novel pro-regenerative role of fractalkine in a demyelinating mouse model.

Keywords: CX3CL1; CX3CR1; NG2; OPC; chemokine; differentiation; multiple sclerosis; myelination; neuron-glia; regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Chemokine CX3CL1
  • Demyelinating Diseases*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myelin Sheath
  • Oligodendroglia / physiology
  • Remyelination*


  • Chemokine CX3CL1