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December 6, 2019: At Journal Club, our experts sat down to discuss a paper on the ageing of central nervous system progenitor cells.
Segel et al 2019 - Niche stiffness underlies the ageing of central nervous system progenitor cells
Previous research has demonstrated that with ageing, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells lose their ability to multiply and develop into oligodendrocytes, or the cells responsible for remyelination in diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). These researchers examined the role of the cell’s immediate environment in contributing to this loss of function. Specifically, they found that the “stiffness” of the extracellular matrix causes the progenitor cells to lose their ability to remyelinate. Researchers then demonstrated that they could restore the ability to remyelinate by altering the gene expression of these cells so that they no longer react to the stiffness of their environment. These results could be helpful in developing regenerative stem cell therapies in MS and understanding the ageing process. Further research needs to be conducted to understand other ageing pathways and how this work can be utilized in MS.