Blocking the Thrombin Receptor Promotes Repair of Demyelinated Lesions in the Adult Brain

Hyesook Yoon, Chan Il Choi, Erin M. Triplet, Monica R. Langley, Laurel S. Kleppe, Ha Neui Kim, Whitney L. Simon, Isobel A. Scarisbrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Myelin loss limits neurological recovery and myelin regeneration and is critical for restoration of function. We recently discovered that global knock-out of the thrombin receptor, also known as Protease Activated Receptor 1 (PAR1), accelerates myelin development. Here we demonstrate that knocking out PAR1 also promotes myelin regeneration. Outcomes in two unique models of myelin injury and repair, that is lysolecithin or cuprizone-mediated demyelination, showed that PAR1 knock-out in male mice improves replenishment of myelinating cells and remyelinated nerve fibers and slows early axon damage. Improvements in myelin regeneration in PAR1 knock-out mice occurred in tandem with a skewing of reactive astrocyte signatures toward a prorepair phenotype. In cell culture, the promyelinating effects of PAR1 loss of function are consistent with possible direct effects on the myelinating potential of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), in addition to OPC-indirect effects involving enhanced astrocyte expression of promyelinating factors, such as BDNF. These findings highlight previously unrecognized roles of PAR1 in myelin regeneration, including integrated actions across the oligodendrocyte and astroglial compartments that are at least partially mechanistically linked to the powerful BDNF-TrkB neurotrophic signaling system. Altogether, findings suggest PAR1 may be a therapeutically tractable target for demyelinating disorders of the CNS.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Replacement of oligodendroglia and myelin regeneration holds tremendous potential to improve function across neurological conditions. Here we demonstrate Protease Activated Receptor 1 (PAR1) is an important regulator of the capacity for myelin regeneration across two experimental murine models of myelin injury. PAR1 is a G-protein-coupled receptor densely expressed in the CNS, however there is limited information regarding its physiological roles in health and disease. Using a combination of PAR1 knock-out mice, oligodendrocyte monocultures and oligodendrocyte-astrocyte cocultures, we demonstrate blocking PAR1 improves myelin production by a mechanism related to effects across glial compartments and linked in part to regulatory actions toward growth factors such as BDNF. These findings set the stage for development of new clinically relevant myelin regeneration strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1483-1500
Number of pages18
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 12 2020


  • astrocyte
  • brain derived neurotrophic factor
  • myelin
  • oligodendrocyte progenitor cells
  • protease activated receptor
  • regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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