More MS news articles for Jan 2002

Neuregulin: An Oligodendrocyte Growth Factor Absent in Active Multiple Sclerosis Lesions

Developmental Neuroscience 23:4-5:2001, 377-386.
Andrea Viehover (a), Robert H. Miller (b), Song-Kyu Park (a), Gerald Fischbach (c), Timothy Vartanian (a)
(a) Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.,
(b) Department of Neuroscience, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, and
(c) Office of the Dean Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, N.Y., USA


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) which results in demyelination and axonal injury.

Conventional therapy for MS is immune suppression in the absence of agents that promote neural and glial survival or remyelination.

Neuregulins are a family of ligands that exert trophic effects on both neurons and glia.

Using mice bearing a null mutation in the neuregulin gene, here we demonstrate that neuregulins are necessary for the normal development of oligodendrocytes.

In addition, neuregulins are produced in the normal human CNS by astrocytes as well as neurons.

Astrocyte-derived neuregulin is functionally active in bioassays and exists in secreted and membrane-associated -isoforms.

In active and chronic active MS lesions, however, the expression of astrocyte neuregulin is dramatically reduced.

The absence of neuregulin in active MS lesions may contribute to the paucity of remyelination in MS.

Copyright © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel