Targeting activin receptors to promote myelin repair
Dr Veronique Miron,
University of Edinburgh,
About the project
Myelin is made by specialised cells known as oligodendrocytes, which are found within the central nervous system. Myelin repair involves stem cells in the brain that multiply and generate new oligodendrocytes. As MS progresses, the myelin repair process becomes less efficient and damage accumulates, meaning that nerves don't function properly.
This project will explore the role of a molecule called activin-A which has been found to be present in the brain during myelin repair. Stem cells in the brain have activin receptors that when activated in laboratory studies multiply and produce more oligodendrocytes. The researchers will be looking to understand further how activin receptors control stem cell behaviour. This will reveal how important activin receptors are, and could pave the way towards new strategies that encourage myelin repair in MS.
How will it help people with MS?
This research aims to uncover the importance of activin receptors for stem cells in driving myelin repair. This is knowledge which could be implemented in the development of new therapies to slow the worsening of disability that results from nerve damage in MS.This research aims to uncover the importance of activin receptors for stem cells in driving myelin repair. This is knowledge which could be implemented in the development of new therapies to slow the worsening of disability that results from nerve damage in MS.
The difference you can make
There are currently no strategies to slow progression in MS. Supporting research like this helps to bring us closer to reaching this goal.
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