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Disease models

Xenopus model for oligodendrocyte myelination

A Xenopus model for myelination could help identify multiple sclerosis (MS) therapeutics. Transgenic Xenopus laevis were engineered to express a construct consisting of a fluorescent reporter linked to the Escherichia coli gene type 1 nitroreductase (ntr). The construct was then placed under the control of a regulatory sequence specific to mature oligodendrocytes. In the model, metronidazole, a generic prodrug that is converted into a cytotoxin by ntr, induced oligodendrocyte apoptosis and demyelination, resulting in a lower fluorescent signal than vehicle. Also in the model, the myelinating compound retinoic acid induced oligodendrocyte proliferation and remyelination, resulting in a greater fluorescent signal than vehicle. Next steps could include using the model to test new MS therapeutics.

SciBX 5(39); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1042
Published online Oct. 4, 2012

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Kaya, F. et al. J. Neurosci.; published online Sept. 12, 2012;
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2252-12.2012
Contact: Andre Mazabraud, University of South Paris XI, Orsay, France
e-mail:

andre.mazabraud@u-psud.fr