Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35822550
Link to DOI – e1475910.15252/emmm.202114759
EMBO Mol Med 2022 Aug; 14(8): e14759
Preventing neurodegeneration-associated disability progression in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) remains an unmet therapeutic need. As remyelination prevents axonal degeneration, promoting this process in patients might enhance neuroprotection. In demyelinating mouse lesions, local overexpression of semaphorin 3F (Sema3F), an oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) attractant, increases remyelination. However, molecular targeting to MS lesions is a challenge. A clinically relevant paradigm for delivering Sema3F to demyelinating lesions could be to use blood-derived macrophages as vehicles. Thus, we chose transplantation of genetically modified hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) as means of obtaining chimeric mice with circulating Sema3F-overexpressing monocytes. We demonstrated that Sema3F-transduced HSCs stimulate OPC migration in a neuropilin 2 (Nrp2, Sema3F receptor)-dependent fashion, which was conserved in middle-aged OPCs. While demyelinating lesions induced in mice with Sema3F-expressing blood cells showed no changes in inflammation and OPC survival, OPC recruitment was enhanced which accelerated the onset of remyelination. Our results provide a proof of concept that blood cells, particularly monocytes/macrophages, can be used to deliver pro-remyelinating agents “at the right time and place,” suggesting novel means for remyelination-promoting strategies in MS.