Lab Research Funded by National MS Society Identifies Possible Target for Promoting Myelin Repair
January 7, 2020
A team at the Mayo Clinic has reported that a eliminating a molecule – called PAR1 – promoted repair of nerve-insulating myelin in mice. FDA-approved therapies exist that block PAR1, and if further research confirms this approach, they could potentially be repurposed to test benefits in people with MS. The team is led by Isobel Scarisbrick, PhD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN).
“Blocking the Thrombin Receptor Promotes Repair of Demyelinated Lesions in the Adult Brain”
- PAR1 is a molecule that is activated by the blood protein thrombin. High levels of thrombin have been found at areas of myelin damage, which is the result of immune attacks in MS. Thrombin appears to activate PAR1 in areas of myelin damage, preventing myelin repair.
- In this study, deleting PAR1 in mouse models of myelin damage increased myelin repair. In addition, adding an FDA-approved inhibitor of PAR1 to cells in the laboratory also increased myelin repair.
- The next step is to test this inhibitor in models of MS to add to evidence that would be needed to evaluate this approach in people with MS.
was published January 7, 2020 in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Read more about research to restore function in MS
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.