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Brain. 2006 May;129(Pt 5):1306-18. Epub 2006 Feb 27.

Interferon-gamma inhibits central nervous system remyelination through a process modulated by endoplasmic reticulum stress.

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Department of Neurology, Jack Miller Center for Peripheral Neuropathy, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) is believed to play a deleterious role in the immune-mediated demyelinating disorder multiple sclerosis. Here we have exploited transgenic mice that ectopically express IFN-gamma in a temporally controlled manner in the CNS to specifically study its effects on remyelination in the cuprizone-induced demyelination model and in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis. CNS delivery of IFN-gamma severely suppressed remyelination in both models and impaired the clinical recovery of the mice experiencing EAE. These observations correlated with a dramatic reduction of oligodendroglial repopulation in the demyelinated lesions. Moreover, we found that in cuprizone-treated mice the detrimental actions of IFN-gamma were associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in remyelinating oligodendrocytes. Compared with a wild-type genetic background, the presence of IFN-gamma in mice heterozygous for a loss of function mutation in the pancreatic ER kinase (PERK), a kinase that responds specifically to ER stress, further reduced the percentage of remyelinated axons and oligodendrocyte numbers in cuprizone-induced demyelinated lesions. Thus, these data suggest that IFN-gamma is capable of inhibiting remyelination in demyelinated lesions and that ER stress modulates the response of remyelinating oligodendrocytes to this cytokine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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