Myelin, a membrane consisting of proteins and lipids, forms an insulating cover on neuronal axons that contributes to proper functioning of the nervous system. Specialized cells in the brain called oligodendrocytes are responsible for the synthesis and maintenance of myelin. Loss or damage of myelin and of oligodendrocyte function are linked to neurological diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS). Finding ways to protect and support myelin formation is therefore an area of active research.
Revalesio has been studying the potential of RNS60 to support myelin formation in collaboration with researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and at Rush University in Chicago. In 2016, the group at McGill University published in the journal Scientific Reports that RNS60 helps oligodendrocytes survive and mature by influencing their bioenergetics1 A recent publication in the journal Neurochemical Research by the researchers at Rush University further documented that RNS60 promotes the expression of myelin forming genes via activation of the transcriptional factor CREB2.
While these reports indirectly implied that RNS60 might stimulate myelin formation, a new study by the McGill researchers directly demonstrated the ability of RNS60 to boost myelination by oligodendrocytes using nanofibers as a model of neurons. The work was presented at the Annual Conference of the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) in February 2018 in San Diego3. These new findings support a potential therapeutic application of RNS60 in MS and other demyelinating diseases and provide first evidence that RNS60 may help repair myelin that has already been damaged.