Damage to myelin, the fatty insulator that enables communication between nerve cells, characterizes multiple sclerosis (MS) and other devastating neurological diseases.
The brainstem of a myelin-deficient mouse that received a transplant of human OPCs a few days after birth and was then treated with the drug solifenacin. Daily treatment enhanced the capacity of human cells (labeled in green) to produce myelin (shown in red), which led to improved hearing in the mouse.
Credit: Fraser J. Sim, University at Buffalo
The current study was funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Kalec Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and the Empire State Stem Cell Fund.
In addition to Sim and Salvi, other co-authors are Kavitha Abiraman, Suyog U. Pol, Melanie A. O’Bara, Guang-Di Chen, Zainab Khaku, Jing Wang, David Thorn, Bansi H. Vedia, Exinne C. Ekwegbalu and Jun-Xu Li.
Sim also is an investigator with other scientists at UB and the University of Rochester on the $12.1 million New York State Stem Cell Science award led by SUNY Upstate Medical Center. That research will test the safety and effectiveness of implanting stem cells that can produce myelin into the central nervous system of MS patients.