A strategy to promote oligodendrocyte regeneration and remyelination

Photo: Close up of researcher using a pippette

Prof. Arthur Butt

University of Portsmouth


About the project

Myelin is the fatty substance that surrounds nerves to protect them from damage. In MS, the myelin is attacked by immune cells leaving the nerve exposed and vulnerable. Damage to the nerve is a key factor in the transition to progressive MS. The body is capable of repairing myelin but this is dependent on myelin making cells called oligodendrocytes. In MS, these oligodendrocytes cannot perform their function as well as they should and eventually this myelin repair process becomes ineffective.

Researchers are on the hunt for growth and survival factors that protect against oligodendrocyte damage and promote their regeneration. This project aims to look at one such molecule called GSK3 which has been shown to promote oligodendrocyte regeneration. The researchers behind this project want to unpick the exact pathway by which GSK3 works and determine whether this could be targeted with a drug to stimulate myelin repair.

How will it help people with MS?

There are currently no treatments available to repair myelin. Gaining a better understanding of molecules and pathways in the body that are involved in myelin repair will bring researchers closer to finding treatments to target these. Finding effective myelin repair treatments provides a real chance to slow the onset of disability in MS.

The difference you can make

If we are going to find a myelin repair treatment we need to keep funding the research searching for the targets that will do this. You can contribute to this effort and bring us closer to finding a way to slow progression.

The next research breakthrough is in reach

Your donation will help stop MS.

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    Our minimum donation is £2, please enter a different amount.

£30could process one blood sample, giving researchers crucial information about genes and the immune system.

£50could pay for an hour on a microscope, so scientists can study cells and tissue in greater detail and improve their understanding of the biology of MS.

£100could pay for half an hour of MRI use, so researchers can monitor the success of clinical trials and understand MS in more detail.

Every penny you give really does take us a step closer to stopping MS. Your donation will make a difference.

  • Please enter an amount

    Our minimum donation is £2, please enter a different amount.

£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS

£20a month could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying genetics

£30a month could process a blood sample to help us understand what causes MS, so we can stop it in its tracks

Your regular donation means we can keep funding world class MS research with confidence. Together we will stop MS.

MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette