Immunoglobulin-based therapies are becoming increasingly common for the treatment of neurologic and autoimmune diseases in humans. In this study, we demonstrate that systemic administration of either polyclonal human immunoglobulins or specific human monoclonal antibodies can accelerate the rate of CNS remyelination following toxin-induced demyelination. Injection of lysolecithin directly into the spinal cord results in focal demyelinated lesions. In contrast to other murine models of demyelinating disease, the mechanism of demyelination following lysolecithin injection is independent of immune system activation, and chronic inflammation at the site of the lesion is minimal. Administration of polyclonal human IgM (pHIgM) or a serum-derived human monoclonal antibody (sHIgM22) resulted in approximately a twofold increase in remyelinating axons when compared to animals treated with saline or with antibodies that do not promote repair. Both pHIgM and sHIgM22 show strong binding to CNS white matter and oligodendrocytes, while antibodies that did not accelerate remyelination do not. This differential staining pattern suggests that enhanced remyelination may result from direct stimulation of oligodendrocyte remyelination by binding to surface receptors on oligodendrocytes or glial progenitor cells. We propose the use of human polyclonal IgM or specific human monoclonal IgM antibodies as potential therapies to enhance myelin repair following CNS injury and disease.
- Multiple sclerosis
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