Eye drug shown to prompt myelin repair in mouse model
A new study found that medrysone, an anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid used to treat various eye conditions including allergic conjunctivitis, improved myelin repair in mice with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Previous research has suggested the drug activates oligodendrocytes, which are the cells that make new myelin in the brain.
In this study, researchers induced myelin loss in mice by feeding them a toxic compound. Untreated mice showed myelin loss in their brains as expected. Mice treated with medrysone, however, showed a significant increase in oligodendrocyte activity and in their levels of myelin basic protein, which is a major component of myelin sheath.
There was also an increase in the structures formed by healthy myelin sheaths known as nodes of Ranvier.
The body weight of the treated mice improved too, which was an indication of overall better health.
Researchers said that in this study they didn’t find much evidence that medrysone acted on oligodendrocytes, rather it affected astrocytes, reducing their inflammatory activity which is implicated in myelin loss, and boosted their myelin repair functions.
The team said they hoped more research would take place to investigate medrysone’s effects on human cells.