Remyelination in multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler. 1997 Apr;3(2):133-6. doi: 10.1177/135245859700300213.


Stimulation of remyelination in multiple sclerosis lesions may be one possible therapeutic approach. However, since the pathology and pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis may be heterogeneous, it is important to analyze in what patients and at what stages of the disease such a therapy can be reasonable and feasible. Spontaneous remyelination is pronounced in some MS patients. The extent of remyelination correlates well with the presence of oligodendrocytes in the lesions. Yet, the source and origin of the remyelinating cells is still unclear. These may be derived from either undifferentiated progenitor cells or, in part from mature oligodendrocytes, that have escaped destruction during lesional activity. Complete remyelination of plaques is possible, leading to the formation of 'shadow plaques'. No reliable data are available at present on the frequency of remyelination in different forms of MS. However, most studies agree that remyelination is especially prominent at the early stages of the disease, whereas it is sparse after several years of disease duration. In addition, very little remyelination is found in cases of primary progressive MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Myelin Sheath / pathology
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology*
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Oligodendroglia / pathology
  • Oligodendroglia / physiology
  • Stem Cells / physiology