Remyelination can be extensive in multiple sclerosis despite a long disease course 21 April 2007
Patani R, Balaratnam M, Vora A, Reynolds R. Department of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, UK MS Tissue Bank, Division of Neuroscience, Imperial College London, Charing Cross Hospital Campus, London, UK.
Experimental studies using models of multiple sclerosis (MS) indicate that rapid and extensive remyelination of inflammatory demyelinated lesions is not only possible, but is the normal situation. The presence of completely remyelinated MS lesions has been noted in numerous studies and routine limited sampling of post mortem MS material suggests that remyelination may be extensive in the early stages but eventually fails. However, visual macroscopic guided sampling tends to be biased towards chronic demyelinated lesions.
Here we have extensively sampled cerebral tissue from two MS cases to investigate the true extent of remyelination. Sections were cut from 185 cerebral tissue blocks and stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E), luxol fast blue and cresyl fast violet (LFB/CFV) and anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, human leucocyte antigen-DR (HLA-DR) and 200 kDa neurofilament protein antibodies. Demyelinated areas were identified in 141 blocks, comprising both white matter (WMLs) and/or grey matter lesions.
In total, 168 WMLs were identified, 22% of which were shadow plaques, 73% were partially remyelinated and only 5% were completely demyelinated. The average extent of lesion remyelination for all WMLs investigated was 47%. Increased density of HLA-DR(+) macrophages and microglia at the lesion border correlated significantly with more extensive remyelination.
Results from this study of two patients with long standing disease suggest that remyelination in MS may be more extensive than previously thought.
Source: Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2007 Apr 18