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Failed remyelination of the nonhuman primate optic nerve leads to axon degeneration, retinal damages, and visual dysfunction

Abstract : White matter disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lead to failure of nerve conduction and long-lasting neurological disabilities affecting a variety of sensory and motor systems, including vision. While most disease-modifying therapies target the immune and inflammatory response, the promotion of remyelination has become a new therapeutic avenue to prevent neuronal degeneration and promote recovery. Most of these strategies have been developed in short-lived rodent models of demyelination, which spontaneously repair and do not reflect the size, organization, and biology of the human CNS. Thus, well-defined nonhuman primate models are required to efficiently advance therapeutic approaches for patients. Here, we followed the consequence of long-term toxin-induced demyelination of the macaque optic nerve on remyelination and axon preservation, as well as its impact on visual functions. Findings from oculomotor behavior, ophthalmic examination, electrophysiology, and retinal imaging indicate visual impairment involving the optic nerve and retina. These visual dysfunctions fully correlated at the anatomical level, with sustained optic nerve demyelination, axonal degeneration, and alterations of the inner retinal layers. This nonhuman primate model of chronic optic nerve demyelination associated with axonal degeneration and visual dysfunction, recapitulates several key features of MS lesions and should be instrumental in providing the missing link to translate emerging repair promyelinating/neuroprotective therapies to the clinic for myelin disorders, such as MS.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 21, 2022 - 3:49:48 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - 10:20:19 AM

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Nadège Sarrazin, Estelle Chavret-Reculon, Corinne Bachelin, Mehdi Felfli, Rafik Arab, et al.. Failed remyelination of the nonhuman primate optic nerve leads to axon degeneration, retinal damages, and visual dysfunction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, National Academy of Sciences, 2022, 119 (10), pp.e2115973119. ⟨10.1073/pnas.2115973119⟩. ⟨hal-03674873⟩

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