2016 SOT Daily Plenary Session: Regenerating CNS Myelin—From Mechanisms to Medicines

Daily Plenary Session: Keynote Medical Research
Council (MRC) Lecture Regenerating CNS Myelin—
From Mechanisms to Medicines

Lecturer: Robin J.M. Franklin, Wellcome
Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute,
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United

Remyelination, the process by which new
myelin sheaths are restored to demyelinated axons, represents one of the most compelling examples
of adult multipotent stem cells contributing to regeneration of the injured CNS. This process can occur with remarkable efficiency in multiple sclerosis (MS), and in experimental models, revealing an impressive ability of the adult CNS to repair itself.
However, the inconsistency of remyelination in MS, and the loss of axonal integrity that results from its failure, makes enhancement of remyelination an important therapeutic objective. There is now compelling evidence that aging is the major
contributor to the declining efficiency of remyelination and that this is largely due to a failure of stem cell differentiation. This talk will review recent studies we have undertaken aimed
at obtaining a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of regulating differentiation during remyelination and hence identifying novel therapeutic targets.