Retinoid X receptor gamma signaling accelerates CNS remyelination

Jeffrey K. Huang, Andrew A. Jarjour, Brahim Nait Oumesmar, Christophe Kerninon, Anna Williams, Wojciech Krezel, Hiroyuki Kagechika, Julien Bauer, Chao Zhao, Anne Baron-Van Evercooren, Pierre Chambon, Charles Ffrench-Constant, Robin J. M. Franklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The molecular basis of CNS myelin regeneration (remyelination) is poorly understood. We generated a comprehensive transcriptional profile of the separate stages of spontaneous remyelination that follow focal demyelination in the rat CNS and found that transcripts that encode the retinoid acid receptor RXR-gamma were differentially expressed during remyelination. Cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage expressed RXR-gamma in rat tissues that were undergoing remyelination and in active and remyelinated multiple sclerosis lesions. Knockdown of RXR-gamma by RNA interference or RXR-specific antagonists severely inhibited oligodendrocyte differentiation in culture. In mice that lacked RXR-gamma, adult oligodendrocyte precursor cells efficiently repopulated lesions after demyelination, but showed delayed differentiation into mature oligodendrocytes. Administration of the RXR agonist 9-cis-retinoic acid to demyelinated cerebellar slice cultures and to aged rats after demyelination caused an increase in remyelinated axons. Our results indicate that RXR-gamma is a positive regulator of endogenous oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation and remyelination and might be a pharmacological target for regenerative therapy in the CNS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


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