Strategies for repair in MS: the potential role of glial-cell transplantation
One of the great challenges in multiple sclerosis (MS) research is to devise strategies that will promote remyelination of chronically demyelinated axons. Based on current knowledge of central nervous system (CNS) remyelination, two approaches could be adopted. In the first, methods of in vivo manipulation of the patient’s own oligodendrocyte population would be devised in order to promote self-remyelination. In the second approach, the strategy would be to replace the absent or inhibited cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage in, or adjacent to, MS plaques, by transplanting myelinating cells. While these approaches are radically different they may not be mutually exclusive, and future therapies may use transplantation of cells expressing remyelination-promoting molecules as a means of influencing endogenous cell function.