Oligodendrocyte death results in immune-mediated CNS demyelination

Maria Traka, Joseph R. Podojil, Derrick P. Mccarthy, Stephen D. Miller, Brian Popko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Although multiple sclerosis is a common neurological disorder, the origin of the autoimmune response against myelin, which is the characteristic feature of the disease, remains unclear. To investigate whether oligodendrocyte death could cause this autoimmune response, we examined the oligodendrocyte ablation Plp1-CreER T;ROSA26-eGFP-DTA (DTA) mouse model. Approximately 30 weeks after recovering from oligodendrocyte loss and demyelination, DTA mice develop a fatal secondary disease characterized by extensive myelin and axonal loss. Strikingly, late-onset disease was associated with increased numbers of T lymphocytes in the CNS and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-specific T cells in lymphoid organs. Transfer of T cells derived from DTA mice to naive recipients resulted in neurological defects that correlated with CNS white matter inflammation. Furthermore, immune tolerization against MOG ameliorated symptoms. Overall, these data indicate that oligodendrocyte death is sufficient to trigger an adaptive autoimmune response against myelin, suggesting that a similar process can occur in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 29 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Oligodendrocyte death results in immune-mediated CNS demyelination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this