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Renovation, Renewal & Repair

Renovation, Renewal & Repair
Reported by
Alisa G. Woods

Posted January 12, 2010

Presented By

Neuroimmunology Discussion Group


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease resulting from an autoimmune attack on the body's own myelin—the fatty substance that insulates the axons neurons use to communicate. Loss of myelin slows nerve impulses down, wreaking havoc on the life of the person afflicted with MS. Stem cell research promises hope. Supplies of undifferentiated cells taken from human brain or bone marrow may find their way into the central nervous system, where they turn into myelinating oligodendrocytes or even neurons. These cells could renew and replace lost myelin or possibly act as new brain cells to make up for neurons with faulty axons.

At an April 27, 2006, Academy meeting, Steven Goldman discussed the identification of human white matter progenitor cells that may provide a source of new cells to replace the disabled cells in people with MS. Mark S. Freedman explored the use of total immune ablation and bone marrow transplantation for MS, based on the idea that MS is an acquired rather than a genetic disease.

Use the tabs above to find a meeting report and multimedia from this event.

Journal Articles

Rewrapping the Axon: Therapeutic Remyelination by Human Glial Progenitors

Nunes, M. C., N. S. Roy, H. M. Keyoung, et al. 2003. Identification and isolation of multipotential neural progenitor cells from the subcortical white matter of the adult human brain. Nat Med. 9: 439-447.

Roy, N. S., S. Wang, C. Harrison-Restelli, et al. 1999. Identification, isolation, and promoter-defined separation of mitotic oligodendrocyte progenitor cells from the adult human subcortical white matter. J. Neurosci. 19: 9986-9995. Full Text

Sim, F. J., J. K. Lang, B. Waldau, et al. 2006. Complementary patterns of gene expression by human oligodendrocyte progenitors and their environment predict determinants of progenitor maintenance and differentiation. Ann Neurol. 59: 763-779.

Windrem, M. S., M. C. Nunes MC, W. K. Rashbaum, et al. 2004. Fetal and adult human oligodendrocyte progenitor cell isolates myelinate the congenitally dysmyelinated brain. Nat Med. 10: 93-97.

Windrem, M. S., N. S. Roy, J. Wang, et al. 2002. Progenitor cells derived from the adult human subcortical white matter disperse and differentiate as oligodendrocytes within demyelinated lesions of the rat brain. J. Neurosci Res. 69: 966-975.

Resetting the Clock: Total Immune Ablation and Restoration in Multiple Sclerosis

Bonilla, S., P. Alarcon, R. Villaverde, et al. 2002. Haematopoietic progenitor cells from adult bone marrow differentiate into cells that express oligodendroglial antigens in the neonatal mouse brain. Eur. J. Neurosci. 15: 575-582.

Brazelton, T. R., F. M. Rossi, G. I. Keshet & H. M. Blau. 2000. From marrow to brain: expression of neuronal phenotypes in adult mice. Science 290: 1775-1779.

Mezey, E., K. J. Chandross, G. Harta, et al. 2000. Turning blood into brain: cells bearing neuronal antigens generated in vivo from bone marrow. Science 290: 1779-1782.

Mezey, E., S. Key, G. Vogelsang, et al. 2003. Transplanted bone marrow generates new neurons in human brains. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100: 1364-1369. Full Text

Sigurjonsson, O. E., M. C. Perreault, T. Egeland & J. C. Glover. 2005. Adult human hematopoietic stem cells produce neurons efficiently in the regenerating chicken embryo spinal cord. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102: 5227-5232. Full Text


Steven A. Goldman, MD, PhD

University of Rochester Medical Center
email | web site | publications

Steven Goldman is a leading researcher in the field of neural stem cell biology. He is chief of the Division of Cell and Gene Cell Therapy and a professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He also holds the Glenn-Zutes Chair in Biology of the Aging Brain. He completed his PhD in neurobiology at the Rockefeller University and an MD at Cornell University Medical College. He was elected in 2001 to the American Society of Clinical Investigation.

Mark S. Freedman, MD

University of Ottawa
email | web site | publications

Mark Freedman is senior scientist in neuroscience at the Ottawa Health Research Institute, a professor of neurology at the University of Ottawa, and director of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit at the Ottawa Hospital. In his research he is investigating stem cell technology as a potential treatment for MS, the role of gamma/delta T cells in MS pathogenesis, and the role of cytokines in MS disease progression and response to therapy. He holds an MD from the University of Toronto.

Alisa G. Woods, PhD

Alisa G. Woods, PhD, is a science writer and biomedical communications consultant. She is also an adjunct professor of psychology at Iona College.