High throughput remyelination
Remyelinating compounds are highly sought after but have been difficult to identify in part because there is a dearth of high throughput screening platforms to detect remyelination. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have now developed an assay to visualize the process in a microtiter plate and used it to identify compounds that can promote the process.1
Oligodendrocytes are glial cells that produce the myelin coating around the axons of CNS neurons. This insulating, lipid-rich coating allows the neuron to transmit action potential signals in an efficient manner.
In multiple sclerosis (MS), inflammatory immune cells attack the myelin coating. Loss of this coating results in less efficient action potential transmission in neurons and leads to the progressive neurological and neuromuscular deficits seen in MS. Although there are multiple drugs on the market that can diminish relapses associated with MS, none has been shown to reverse the course of the disease or promote remyelination. And only a handful of remyelinating compounds are in clinical development.
Jonah Chan, an associate professor in the Department of Neurology