Gene expression in oligodendrocytes during remyelination reveals cholesterol homeostasis as a therapeutic target in multiple sclerosis.
ABSTRACT: Regional differences in neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia exist in the brain during health, and regional differences in the transcriptome may occur for each cell type during neurodegeneration. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is multifocal, and regional differences in the astrocyte transcriptome occur in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an MS model. MS and EAE are characterized by inflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage, with minimal remyelination. Here, RNA-sequencing analysis of MS tissues from six brain regions suggested a focus on oligodendrocyte lineage cells (OLCs) in corpus callosum. Olig1-RiboTag mice were used to determine the translatome of OLCs in vivo in corpus callosum during the remyelination phase of a chronic cuprizone model with axonal damage. Cholesterol-synthesis gene pathways dominated as the top up-regulated pathways in OLCs during remyelination. In EAE, remyelination was induced with estrogen receptor-? (ER?) ligand treatment, and up-regulation of cholesterol-synthesis gene expression was again observed in OLCs. ER?-ligand treatment in the cuprizone model further increased cholesterol synthesis gene expression and enhanced remyelination. Conditional KOs of ER? in OLCs demonstrated that increased cholesterol-synthesis gene expression in OLCs was mediated by direct effects in both models. To address this direct effect, ChIP assays showed binding of ER? to the putative estrogen-response element of a key cholesterol-synthesis gene (Fdps). As fetal OLCs are exposed in utero to high levels of estrogens in maternal blood, we discuss how remyelinating properties of estrogen treatment in adults during injury may recapitulate normal developmental myelination through targeting cholesterol homeostasis in OLCs.
Project description:Regional differences in neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia exist in the brain during health, and regional differences in the transcriptome may occur for each cell type during neurodegeneration. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is multifocal, and regional differences in the astrocyte transcriptome occur in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an MS model. MS and EAE are characterized by inflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage, with minimal remyelination. Here, RNA-sequencing analysis of MS tissues from six brain regions suggested a focus on oligodendrocyte lineage cells (OLCs) in corpus callosum. Olig1-RiboTag mice were used to determine the translatome of OLCs in vivo in corpus callosum during the remyelination phase of a chronic cuprizone model with axonal damage. Cholesterol-synthesis gene pathways dominated as the top up-regulated pathways in OLCs during remyelination. In EAE, remyelination was induced with estrogen receptor-β (ERβ) ligand treatment, and up-regulation of cholesterol-synthesis gene expression was again observed in OLCs. ERβ-ligand treatment in the cuprizone model further increased cholesterol synthesis gene expression and enhanced remyelination. Conditional KOs of ERβ in OLCs demonstrated that increased cholesterol-synthesis gene expression in OLCs was mediated by direct effects in both models. To address this direct effect, ChIP assays showed binding of ERβ to the putative estrogen-response element of a key cholesterol-synthesis gene (Fdps). As fetal OLCs are exposed in utero to high levels of estrogens in maternal blood, we discuss how remyelinating properties of estrogen treatment in adults during injury may recapitulate normal developmental myelination through targeting cholesterol homeostasis in OLCs. Overall design: The mice expressing HA-tagged ribosomal protein RPL22 in oligodendrocytes were generated by crossing RiboTag mice with Olig1-Cre mice. Oligodendrocyte specific RNA was isolated as the co-immunoprecipitation with anti-HA antibody.
Project description:Currently available immunomodulatory therapies do not stop the pathogenesis underlying multiple sclerosis (MS) and are only partially effective in preventing the onset of permanent disability in patients with MS. Identifying a drug that stimulates endogenous remyelination and/or minimizes axonal degeneration would reduce the rate and degree of disease progression. Here, the effects of the highly selective estrogen receptor (ER) ? agonist indazole chloride (Ind-Cl) on functional remyelination in chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mice were investigated by assessing pathologic, functional, and behavioral consequences of both prophylactic and therapeutic (peak EAE) treatment with Ind-Cl. Peripheral cytokines from autoantigen-stimulated splenocytes were measured, and central nervous system infiltration by immune cells, axon health, and myelination were assessed by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Therapeutic Ind-Cl improved clinical disease and rotorod performance and also decreased peripheral Th1 cytokines and reactive astrocytes, activated microglia, and T cells in brains of EAE mice. Increased callosal myelination and mature oligodendrocytes correlated with improved callosal conduction and refractoriness. Therapeutic Ind-Cl-induced remyelination was independent of its effects on the immune system, as Ind-Cl increased remyelination within the cuprizone diet-induced demyelinating model. We conclude that Ind-Cl is a refined pharmacologic agent capable of stimulating functionally relevant endogenous myelination, with important implications for progressive MS treatment.
Project description:Though promoting remyelination in multiple sclerosis (MS) has emerged as a promising therapeutic strategy, it does not address inflammatory signals that continue to induce neuronal damage and inhibit effectiveness of repair mechanisms. Our lab has previously characterized the immunomodulatory tetrapeptide, tuftsin, which induces an anti-inflammatory shift in microglia and macrophages. This targeted anti-inflammatory agent improves physical deficits in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS. Here, we sought to determine whether tuftsin is also effective in combination with benztropine, an FDA-approved drug that stimulates remyelination, in both EAE and in the cuprizone model of demyelination. We show that combining these two agents to promote anti-inflammatory and remyelinating mechanisms alleviates symptoms in EAE and lessens pathological hallmarks in both MS models. Importantly, tuftsin is required to transform the inflammatory CNS environment normally present in EAE/MS into one of an anti-inflammatory nature, and benztropine is required in the cuprizone model to improve remyelination. Our data further support tuftsin's beneficial immunomodulatory activity in the context of EAE, and show that when studying remyelination in the absence of an autoimmune insult, tuftsin still activated microglia toward an anti-inflammatory fate, but benztropine was necessary for significant repair of the damaged myelin. Overall, tuftsin effectively combined with benztropine to significantly improve MS-like pathologies in both models.
Project description:Characterizing and enumerating cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage (OLCs) is crucial for understanding demyelination and therapeutic benefit in models of demyelinating disease in the central nervous system. Here we describe a novel method for the rapid, unbiased analysis of mouse OLCs using flow cytometry. The assay was optimized to maximize viable yield of OLCs and maintain OLC antigen integrity. Panels of antibodies were assembled for simultaneous analysis of seven antigens on individual cells allowing for characterization of oligodendroglial cells throughout the lineage. We verified the utility of the assay with cultured OLCs and through a time course of developmental myelination. Next we employed the assay to characterize OLC populations in two well-characterized models of demyelination: cuprizone-induced demyelination and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In EAE we observed a dramatic loss of mature oligodendrocytes coincident with a dramatic expansion of oligodendrocyte progenitors cells (OPCs) at the onset of disease suggesting an attempt of the host to repair myelin. This expanded OPC pool was maintained through remission and relapse suggesting an arrest in differentiation in the face of the chronic autoimmune T cell-mediated inflammatory response. These robust, reproducible changes in OLCs through disease provide a rapid quantitative global analysis of myelin-producing cells in the adult mouse brain and important information regarding effects of disease on oligodendroglial proliferation/differentiation which is useful for defining the pathogenesis and therapy of MS.
Project description:Remyelination occurs in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions but is generally considered to be insufficient. One of the major challenges in MS research is to understand the causes of remyelination failure and to identify therapeutic targets that promote remyelination. Activation of pancreatic endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) signaling in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress modulates cell viability and function under stressful conditions. There is evidence that PERK is activated in remyelinating oligodendrocytes in demyelinated lesions in both MS and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In this study, we sought to determine the role of PERK signaling in remyelinating oligodendrocytes in MS and EAE using transgenic mice that allow temporally controlled activation of PERK signaling specifically in oligodendrocytes. We demonstrated that persistent PERK activation was not deleterious to myelinating oligodendrocytes in young, developing mice or to remyelinating oligodendrocytes in cuprizone-induced demyelinated lesions. We found that enhancing PERK activation, specifically in (re)myelinating oligodendrocytes, protected the cells and myelin against the detrimental effects of interferon-?, a key proinflammatory cytokine in MS and EAE. More important, we showed that enhancing PERK activation in remyelinating oligodendrocytes at the recovery stage of EAE promoted cell survival and remyelination in EAE demyelinated lesions. Thus, our data provide direct evidence that PERK activation cell-autonomously enhances the survival and preserves function of remyelinating oligodendrocytes in immune-mediated demyelinating diseases.
Project description:Estrogen receptor ? (ER?) ligands promote remyelination in mouse models of multiple sclerosis. Recent work using experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) has shown that ER? ligands induce axon remyelination, but impact peripheral inflammation to varying degrees. To identify if ER? ligands initiate a common immune mechanism in remyelination, central and peripheral immunity and pathology in mice given ER? ligands at peak EAE were assessed. All ER? ligands induced differential expression of cytokines and chemokines, but increased levels of CXCL1 in the periphery and in astrocytes. Oligodendrocyte CXCR2 binds CXCL1 and has been implicated in normal myelination. In addition, despite extensive immune cell accumulation in the CNS, all ER? ligands promoted extensive remyelination in mice at peak EAE. This finding highlights a component of the mechanism by which ER? ligands mediate remyelination. Hence, interplay between the immune system and central nervous system may be responsible for the remyelinating effects of ER? ligands. Our findings of potential neuroprotective benefits arising from the presence of CXCL1 could have implications for improved therapies for multiple sclerosis.
Project description:Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disorder in which remyelination failure contributes to persistent disability. Cholesterol is rate-limiting for myelin biogenesis in the developing CNS; however, whether cholesterol insufficiency contributes to remyelination failure in MS, is unclear. Here, we show the relationship between cholesterol, myelination and neurological parameters in mouse models of demyelination and remyelination. In the cuprizone model, acute disease reduces serum cholesterol levels that can be restored by dietary cholesterol. Concomitant with blood-brain barrier impairment, supplemented cholesterol directly supports oligodendrocyte precursor proliferation and differentiation, and restores the balance of growth factors, creating a permissive environment for repair. This leads to attenuated axon damage, enhanced remyelination and improved motor learning. Remarkably, in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, cholesterol supplementation does not exacerbate disease expression. These findings emphasize the safety of dietary cholesterol in inflammatory diseases and point to a previously unrecognized role of cholesterol in promoting repair after demyelinating episodes.
Project description:Dietary interventions have not been effective in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Here, we show that periodic 3-day cycles of a fasting mimicking diet (FMD) are effective in ameliorating demyelination and symptoms in a murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model. The FMD reduced clinical severity in all mice and completely reversed symptoms in 20% of animals. These improvements were associated with increased corticosterone levels and regulatory T (Treg) cell numbers and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, TH1 and TH17 cells, and antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Moreover, the FMD promoted oligodendrocyte precursor cell regeneration and remyelination in axons in both EAE and cuprizone MS models, supporting its effects on both suppression of autoimmunity and remyelination. We also report preliminary data suggesting that an FMD or a chronic ketogenic diet are safe, feasible, and potentially effective in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients (NCT01538355).
Project description:Multiple sclerosis is a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Spontaneous remyelination during early disease stages is thought to preserve and partially restore function. However, this process ceases in later stages despite the presence of pre-oligodendrocytes. Cuprizone-induced demyelination is a useful model with which to study the remyelination process. Previous studies have demonstrated heterogeneities in demyelination in individual animals. Here we investigated regional differences in demyelination and remyelination within the corpus callosum. C57BL/6 mice were fed 0.2% cuprizone for 5 weeks to induce demyelination. Remyelination was examined 2-5 weeks after cuprizone withdrawal. Immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy were used to quantify regional differences in demyelination, gliosis, and remyelination. We found that, while demyelination was limited in the rostral region of corpus callosum, nearly complete demyelination occurred in the caudal callosum, beginning at approximately -0.5mm from bregma. Astrogliosis and microgliosis were correlated with demyelination and differed between the rostral and caudal callosal structures. Remyelination upon cessation of cuprizone ensued at different rates with splenium remyelinating faster than dorsal hippocampal commissure. Our data show anatomical differences of cuprizone-induced demyelination and remyelination in the corpus callosum and the importance of examining specific callosal regions in myelin repair studies using this model.
Project description:To unravel the failure of remyelination in multiple sclerosis (MS) and to test promising remyelinating treatments, suitable animal models like the well-established cuprizone model are required. However, this model is only standardized in young mice. This does not represent the typical age of MS patients. Furthermore, remyelination is very fast in young mice, hindering the examination of effects of remyelination-promoting agents. Thus, there is the need for a better animal model to study remyelination. We therefore aimed to establish the cuprizone model in aged mice. 6-month-old C57BL6 mice were fed with different concentrations of cuprizone (0.2-0.6%) for 5-6.5 weeks. De- and remyelination in the medial and lateral parts of the corpus callosum were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Feeding aged mice 0.4% cuprizone for 6.5 weeks resulted in the best and most reliable administration scheme with virtually complete demyelination of the corpus callosum. This was accompanied by a strong accumulation of microglia and near absolute loss of mature oligodendrocytes. Subsequent remyelination was initially robust but remained incomplete. The remyelination process in mature adult mice better represents the age of MS patients and offers a better model for the examination of regenerative therapies.