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Nat Neurosci. 2001 Nov;4(11):1116-22.

TNF alpha promotes proliferation of oligodendrocyte progenitors and remyelination.

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Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, School of Medicine CB7295, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


Here we used mice lacking tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha) and its associated receptors to study a model of demyelination and remyelination in which these events could be carefully controlled using a toxin, cuprizone. Unexpectedly, the lack of TNF alpha led to a significant delay in remyelination as assessed by histology, immunohistochemistry for myelin proteins and electron microscopy coupled with morphometric analysis. Failure of repair correlated with a reduction in the pool of proliferating oligodendrocyte progenitors (bromodeoxyuridine-labeled NG2(+) cells) followed by a reduction in the number of mature oligodendrocytes. Analysis of mice lacking TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) or TNFR2 indicated that TNFR2, not TNFR1, is critical to oligodendrocyte regeneration. This unexpected reparative role for TNF alpha in the CNS is important for understanding oligodendrocyte regeneration/proliferation, nerve remyelination and the design of new therapeutics for demyelinating diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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