Protamine — an agent used to stop the anticoagulant effects of heparin — was seen to trigger remyelination in mice with myelin damage. But while pointing a way forward for studies of myelin regeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS), the research team underscored that protamine itself is not an optimal treatment candidate.
The study, published in the journal PLOS One, reported that protamine acts to neutralize molecules that block processes involved in remyelination. Finding similar compounds with properties better suited to human use could lead to new regenerative therapies.
Having studied the processes that prevent myelin-forming cells from repairing damage, researchers at Tokushima Bunri University and Sokendai University in Japan screened for drugs that specifically blocked the activity of molecules called Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs).