Artificial myelination restored the brain after a stroke

(ORDO NEWS) — American scientists have shown that stimulation of myelination of neurons allows you to restore damaged tissue of the white matter of the brain after a stroke. The results are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ischemic stroke is an acute violation of the blood circulation of the brain due to blockage of blood vessels. There are two main forms of such a stroke: during the first thrombosis, it affects large arteries, as a result of which the tissues of gray and white matter are damaged; in the second case, only small arteries are blocked, which causes the death of white matter tissues. At the same time, despite the prevalence of the phenomenon among people over 80 years of age, there are still no ways to restore tissue after a stroke of white matter.

To find out why recovery does not occur in this condition, scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Michigan simulated ischemic stroke in mice. The analysis showed that the disease leads to axonal demyelination (damage to the myelin sheaths) and active division of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (myelinating cells). However, further differentiation into mature oligodendrocytes does not occur: the precursors turn into astrocytes, leading to gliosis.

At the second stage, the authors lifted the blockade of the maturation of progenitor cells. To do this, they introduced an NgR1 receptor antagonist into the damaged region of white matter. Past studies have shown that with stroke, the number of ligands of this receptor increases, while inhibitors decrease. The introduction of the antagonist lifted the blockade of oligodendrocyte maturation: the progenitor cells began to mature more actively, which entailed the myelination of damaged axons, the restoration of white matter tissue and motor activity.

Previously, scientists demonstrated a way to restore brain tissue after a stroke by preventing inflammation. The results showed that the receptor antagonists for the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 contribute to partial tissue repair in rats. In addition, the researchers achieved restoration of motor functions lost due to stroke through the injection of modified mesenchymal stem cells into damaged areas of the motor cortex. This experiment was conducted in humans.

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