Effect of Fasudil on remyelination following cuprizone-induced demyelination

Jing Wang, Ruo-Xuan Sui, Qiang Miao, Qing Wang, Li-Juan Song, Jie-Zhong Yu, Yan-Hua Li, Bao-Guo Xiao, Cun-Gen Ma
CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics 2019 May 23

BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis is characterized by demyelination/remyelination, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration. Cuprizone (CPZ)-induced toxic demyelination is an experimental animal model commonly used to study demyelination and remyelination in the central nervous system. Fasudil is one of the most thoroughly studied Rho kinase inhibitors.

METHODS: Following CPZ exposure, the degree of demyelination in the brain of male C57BL/6 mice was assessed by Luxol fast blue, Black Gold II, myelin basic protein immunofluorescent staining, and Western blot. The effect of Fasudil on behavioral change was determined using elevated plus maze test and pole test. The possible mechanisms of Fasudil action were examined by immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, ELISA, and dot blot.

RESULTS: Fasudil improved behavioral abnormalities, inhibited microglia-mediated neuroinflammation, and promoted astrocyte-derived nerve growth factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor, which should contribute to protection and regeneration of oligodendrocytes. In addition, Fasudil inhibited the production of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody and the infiltration of peripheral CD4+ T cells and CD68+ macrophages, which appears to be related to the integrity of the blood-brain barrier.

CONCLUSION: These results provide evidence for the therapeutic potential of Fasudil in CPZ-induced demyelination. However, how Fasudil acts on microglia, astrocytes, and immune cells remains to be further explored.

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