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J Neurosci. 2003 Oct 29;23(30):9824-32.

Functional genomic analysis of remyelination reveals importance of inflammation in oligodendrocyte regeneration.

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  • 1Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Neuroscience Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA. heather_arnett@dfci.harvard.edu


Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha), a proinflammatory cytokine, was shown previously to promote remyelination and oligodendrocyte precursor proliferation in a murine model for demyelination and remyelination. We used Affymetrix microarrays in this study to identify (1) changes in gene expression that accompany demyelination versus remyelination and (2) changes in gene expression during the successful remyelination of wild-type mice versus the unsuccessful attempts in mice lacking TNFalpha. Alterations in inflammatory genes represented the most prominent changes, with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes dramatically enhanced in microglia and astrocytes during demyelination, remyelination, and as a consequence of TNFalpha stimulation. Studies to examine the roles of these genes in remyelination were then performed using mice lacking specific genes identified by the microarray. Analysis of MHC-II-null mice showed delayed remyelination and regeneration of oligodendrocytes, whereas removal of MHC-I had little effect. These data point to the induction of MHC-II by TNFalpha as an important regulatory event in remyelination and emphasize the active inflammatory response in regeneration after pathology in the brain.

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