mCSF-Induced Microglial Activation Prevents Myelin Loss and Promotes Its Repair in a Mouse Model of Multiple Sclerosis

Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Nathalie LaflammeSerge Rivest


A pathological hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS) is myelin loss in brain white matter accompanied by compromised remyelination. Demyelinated lesions are deeply associated with oligodendrocyte apoptosis and a robust inflammatory response. Although various studies point towards a noxious role of inflammation in MS, others emphasize a positive role for the innate immune cells in disease progression. A cytokine well-known to stimulate cell survival, proliferation and differentiation of myeloid cells, macrophage colony-stimulating factor (mCSF), was administered to mice during a 5 week-long cuprizone diet. Treated mice exhibited reduced myelin loss during the demyelination phase, together with an increased number of microglia and oligodendrocyte precursor cells in lesion sites. Tamoxifen-induced conditional deletion of the mCSF receptor in microglia from cuprizone-fed mice caused aberrant myelin debris accumulation in the corpus callosum and reduced microglial phagocytic response. mCSF therefore plays a key role in stimulating myelin clearance by the brain innate immune cells, which is a prerequisite for proper remyelination and myelin repair processes.


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Methods Mentioned

electron microscopy

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