A group of researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, reported in the journal Science Reports that RNS60 promotes the differentiation of oligodendrocytes from precursor cells. Oligodendrocytes are the cells responsible for the generation and maintenance of the protective myelin coating of neuronal axons. In the published study, RNS60 also improved the survival of these cells under stress caused by deprivation of glucose as a nutrient.
Death and malfunction of oligodendrocytes has gained increasing attention as an underlying cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) as well other neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Protection of oligodendrocytes is therefore an important target for the development of new and improved drugs to treat MS patients.
By demonstrating that the effects of RNS60 extend beyond primarily anti-inflammatory effects, the findings of this study lend further support to the development of RNS60 as a therapeutic for MS as well as ALS.