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An Animal Model of Cortical and Callosal Pathology in Multiple Sclerosis

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The pathological and radiological hallmarks of multiple sclerosis (MS) include multiple demyelinated lesions disseminated throughout the white matter of the central nervous system (CNS). More recently, the cerebral cortex has been shown to be affected in MS, but the elucidation of events causing cortical demyelination has been hampered by the lack of animal models reflecting such human cortical pathology. In this report, we have described the presence of cortical gray matter and callosal white matter demyelinating lesions in the chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model of MS. Similar to the pathological lesions of MS patients, EAE lesions have been classified as type I-leukocortical, type II-intracortical and type III-subpial. All of these lesions had varying degrees of demyelination, inflammatory cells and reactive astrocytes. Similar to MS, cortical layers during EAE showed demyelination, microglia activation, synaptic protein alterations and apoptotic cells. In addition, the callosal white matter during EAE had many inflammatory demyelinating lesions and axon degeneration. Functional electrophysiological conduction analysis showed deficits in both myelinated and unmyelinated callosal axons during early and late EAE. The chronic EAE mouse model has features that mimic cortical and callosal pathology of MS, and can be potentially used to screen agents to prevent these features of disease.
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Keywords: callosal pathology; cortical pathology; demyelination; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; inflammation; multiple sclerosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Multiple Sclerosis Program, Department of Neurology

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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