Authors Eigel, D. ; Zoupi, L. ; Sekizar, S. ; Welzel, P. ; Werner, C. ; Williams, A. ; Newland, B.
Title Cryogel scaffolds for regionally constrained delivery of lysophosphatidylcholine to central nervous system slice cultures: A model of focal demyelination for multiple sclerosis research
Date 01.10.2019
Number 56092
Abstract The pathology of multiple sclerosis (MS) is typified by focal demyelinated areas of the brain and spinal cord, which results in axonal degeneration and atrophy. Although the field has made much progress in developing immunomodulatory therapies to reduce the occurrence of these focal lesions, there is a conspicuous lack of licensed effective therapies to reduce axonal degeneration or promote repair. Remyelination, carried out by oligodendrocytes, does occur in MS, and is protective against axonal degeneration. Unfortunately, remyelination is not very efficient, and ultimately fails and so there is a research focus to generate new therapeutics to enhance remyelination leading to neuroprotection.<br />To develop these therapies, we need preclinical models that well reflect remyelination in MS. We have previously characterized an ex vivo model that uses lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) to cause acute and global demyelination of tissue slices, followed by spontaneous remyelination, which has been widely used as a surrogate for in vivo rodent models of demyelination. However, this ex vivo model lacks the focal demyelinated lesions seen in MS, surrounded by normal tissue from which the repairing oligodendrocytes are derived. Therefore, to improve the model, we have developed and characterized small macroporous cryogel scaffolds for controlled/regional delivery of LPC with diameters of either 0.5, 1 or 2·mm. Placement of LPC loaded scaffolds adjacent to ex vivo cultured mouse brain and spinal cord slices induced focal areas of demyelination in proximity to the scaffold. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first such report of spatial mimicry of the in vivo condition in ex vivo tissue culture. This will allow not only the investigation into focal lesions, but also provides a better platform technology with which to test remyelination-promoting therapeutics.
Publisher Acta Biomaterialia
Citation Acta Biomaterialia 97 (2019) 216-229

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