Navigation Links
One size does not fit all
Date:5/26/2009

Statins, a commonly prescribed class of drugs used by millions worldwide to effectively lower blood cholesterol levels, may actually have a negative impact in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients treated with high daily dosages.

A new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), McGill University, demonstrates that statin therapy in mice inhibits myelin repair or remyelination in the central nervous system. The findings, published in The American Journal of Pathology, highlight the crucial need to monitor the effects of central nervous system-accessible immune therapies on the myelin repair processes in patients with MS and other progressive demyelinating diseases.

Canadians have one of the highest rates of MS in the world. An estimated 50, 000 Canadians have MS, with approximately 1,000 new cases diagnosed each year. MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS), in which immune cells attack the myelin sheath (the protective insulation of nerve fibres), and the myelin-producing cells of the CNS (oligodendrocytes), causing demyelination. This causes damage which disrupts the nerve cell's ability to transmit signals throughout the nervous system.

In the early stages of MS, following an immune system attack on myelin, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells or stem cells in the CNS are recruited to the lesion. These cells mature and produce new myelin to repair the damage.

"Statins, which are known to modify the immune system response and have a wide array of effects on other cellular processes, were propelled into clinical trials based on studies in an animal model of MS indicating a reduction in clinical disease severity," says Dr. Veronique Miron, post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Jack Antel's lab at the MNI, and lead investigator in the study. "The mechanism of statin action in these studies was not determined. That is, does statin directly effect myelin and/or the oligodendrocytes or is disease severity reduced indirectly due to the dampening of the immune response. This issue required further investigation, particularly due to the ability of statins to cross the blood-brain barrier and access the CNS, and the enrichment of cholesterol in the myelin sheath."

The objective of the MNI study was to determine the direct impact of simvastatin, a statin in clinical trials, on the integrity of myelin in the brain and on the remyelination process. The study uses a model of myelin damage that has relatively little inflammation and mimics the demyelinating aspect of MS, allowing MNI researchers to determine the direct effect of long-term statin therapy on remyelination, independent of its indirect effects mediated via immune modulation.

"The results of our study indicate that simvastatin has in fact, a slightly deleterious effect on myelin under non-pathological conditions," adds Dr. Miron. "During remyelination, there is a decrease not only in myelin production but also in oligodendrocyte number as a result of simvastatin treatment. The findings also suggest that simvastatin inhibits CNS remyelination by blocking oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation or maturation into myelinating oligodendrocytes."

This study underscores the necessity of monitoring the long-terms effects of CNS accessible immune therapies, particularly those that can impact cell types that are postulated to be targeted in neurological disease processes and that are implicated in any brain tissue repair processes. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of these therapies will lead to improved and enhanced treatment strategies and ultimately improved quality of life for people who suffer from a variety of neurological diseases.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anita Kar
anita.kar@mcgill.ca
514-398-3376
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2017)... A new independent identity strategy consultancy firm announces its ... to fill a critical niche in technical and policy ... Mark Crego and Janice Kephart together ... that span federal governments, the 9/11 Commission, private industry, ... has a common theme born from a shared passion ...
(Date:1/31/2017)... Jan. 31, 2017  Spero Therapeutics, LLC, a ... the treatment of bacterial infections, today announced it ... candidates from Pro Bono Bio Ltd (PBB) to ... multi-drug resistant forms of Gram-negative bacteria.   The assets ... Ltd, a PBB group company. "The ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... , Jan. 24, 2017 Biopharm ... of the laboratory use of nuclear magnetic resonance ... experienced end-users and profiled current practices, developments, trends ... as well as growth and opportunities. These areas ... suppliers, NMR instruments, needs and innovation requirements, hyphenated ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... Feb. 17, 2017  If only one in ... a mutation-conferring resistance to chemotherapy, thousands of cancer ... has focused on finding these mutations in ever-smaller ... circulating tumor DNA in blood — to guide ... Unfortunately, however, detecting these genetic anomalies ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...  ImMAGE Biotherapeutics (OTCMKTS: IMMG), an early-stage biotechnology company harnessing ... treatment for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), announced today their ... program. The YEi Start in ... entrepreneurs grow their business in France ... selected to complete an intensive one week immersion in ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017   Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... developing first-in-class biological therapies for cardiac and other ... to terminate its license agreement with the Mayo ... Cenderitide. "Our decision to return these ... our efforts to advance our core cell and ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  Champions Oncology, Inc. ... the development and sale of advanced technology solutions and ... drugs, today announced the addition of new cohorts of ... These new models will expand Champions, product line in ... and neck cancer, AML, and non-small cell lung cancer ...
Breaking Biology Technology: