Prolonging the integrated stress response enhances cns remyelination in an inflammatory environment

Yanan Chen, Rejani B. Kunjamma, Molly Weiner, Jonah R. Chan, Brian Popko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The inflammatory environment of demyelinated lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients contributes to remyelination failure. Inflammation activates a cytoprotective pathway, the integrated stress response (ISR), but it remains unclear whether enhancing the ISR can improve remyelination in an inflammatory environment. To examine this possibility, the remyelination stage of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), as well as a mouse model that incorporates cuprizone-induced demyelination along with CNS delivery of the proinflammatory cytokine IFN-γ were used here. We demonstrate that either genetic or pharmacological ISR enhancement significantly increased the number of remyelinating oligodendrocytes and remyelinated axons in the inflammatory lesions. Moreover, the combined treatment of the ISR modulator Sephin1 with the oligodendrocyte differentiation enhancing reagent bazedoxifene increased myelin thickness of remyelinated axons to pre-lesion levels. Taken together, our findings indicate that prolonging the ISR protects remyelinating oligodendrocytes and promotes remyelination in the presence of inflammation, suggesting that ISR enhancement may provide reparative benefit to MS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere65469
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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