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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system. Neurological deficits are attributed to inflammatory demyelination, which compromises axonal function and survival. These are mitigated in experimental models by rapid and often complete remyelination of affected axons, but in MS this endogenous repair mechanism frequently fails, leaving axons increasingly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of inflammatory and metabolic stress. Understanding the molecular basis of remyelination and remyelination failure is essential to develop improved therapies for this devastating disease. However, recent studies suggest that this is not due to a single dominant mechanism, but rather represents the biological outcome of multiple changes in the lesion microenvironment that combine to disrupt oligodendrocyte differentiation. This identifies a pressing need to develop technical platforms to investigate combinatory and/or synergistic effects of factors differentially expressed in MS lesions on oligodendrocyte proliferation and differentiation. Here we describe protocols using primary oligodendrocyte cultures from Bl6 mice on 384-well nanofiber plates to model changes affecting oligodendrogenesis and differentiation in the complex signaling environment associated with multiple sclerosis lesions. Using platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-AA), fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) as representative targets, we demonstrate that we can assess their combinatory effects across a wide range of concentrations in a single experiment. This in vitro model is ideal for assessing the combinatory effects of changes in availability of multiple factors, thus more closely modelling the situation in vivo and furthering high-throughput screening possibilities.

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multiple sclerosis, myelin, nanofibers, oligodendrocyte, remyelination, screening, Animals, Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2, Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4, Cell Differentiation, Cell Proliferation, Cells, Cultured, Fibroblast Growth Factor 2, Humans, Mice, Models, Theoretical, Multiple Sclerosis, Myelin Sheath, Nanofibers, Oligodendroglia, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor, Primary Cell Culture