Immunosuppression using cyclophosphamide or anti-T cell monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed at CD4 or CD8 promoted remyelination of CNS axons in the spinal cords of mice infected chronically with Theiler's virus. Treatment with a mAb directed at class II major histocompability gene products did not increase the extent of CNS remyelination. Following immunosuppressive treatment, quantitative morphometry revealed a five- to sevenfold increase in new myelin synthesis. Proliferating nervous system cells were identified at the edges of remyelinated lesions by their incorporation of [3H]thymidine. CNS remyelination occurred in mice depleted of selected subsets of T lymphocytes despite the local persistence of viral antigen. These findings indicate that CNS remyelination occurs as a normal consequence of primary myelin injury, but factors associated with immune T cells somehow impair remyelination. Interference with the function of immune T cells enhances CNS remyelination by oligodendrocytes. Similar depletion of immune T cells may allow for enhanced remyelination in the CNS of patients with chronic multiple sclerosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology