Ethyl pyruvate enhances spontaneous remyelination by targeting microglia phagocytosis

Yan He, Jun An, Jun-Jun Yin, Ruo-Xuan Sui, Qiang Miao, Zhi-Bin Ding, Qing-Xian Han, Qing Wang, Cun-Gen Ma, Bao-Guo Xiao
International Immunopharmacology 2019 October 30, 77: 105929
Ethyl pyruvate (EP), a simple derivative of the endogenous energy substrate pyruvate, provides strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. but its role in remyelination has not been explored. In this study, EP efficiently improved the behavioural performance and histological demyelination in cuprizone (CPZ)-induced mouse model. In terms of action, EP treatment enhanced microglia migration, increased the phagocytosis of myelin debris by BV2 microglia and primary microglia, induced cell proliferation and subsequent cell death. At the same time, EP induced microglia to exhibit M2 phenotype, representing decreased iNOS/TNF-α and increased Arg-1/IL-10. In addition, EP decreased microglia enrichment in myelin sheath, and declined TLR4/p-NF-kb/p65 and IL-1β and IL-6, inhibiting microglia-mediated neuroinflammation. As a result, EP treatment promoted the generation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) and the differentiation from maturation to mature oligodendrocytes, which may be related to the up-regulation of Sox2. Given these data, we provided the proof-of-experiment that EP should be beneficial in multiple sclerosis or demyelinating lesions. However, further studies on the possibility to use EP as therapeutic application are warranted.

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