Scientific Publications

Axin2 as regulatory and therapeutic target in newborn brain injury and remyelination.

Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsFancy, SP, Harrington EP, Yuen TJ, Silbereis JC, Zhao C., Baranzini SE, Bruce CC, Otero JJ, Huang EJ, Nusse R., Franklin RJ, and Rowitch DH
AbstractPermanent damage to white matter tracts, comprising axons and myelinating oligodendrocytes, is an important component of brain injuries of the newborn that cause cerebral palsy and cognitive disabilities, as well as multiple sclerosis in adults. However, regulatory factors relevant in human developmental myelin disorders and in myelin regeneration are unclear. We found that AXIN2 was expressed in immature oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OLPs) in white matter lesions of human newborns with neonatal hypoxic-ischemic and gliotic brain damage, as well as in active multiple sclerosis lesions in adults. Axin2 is a target of Wnt transcriptional activation that negatively feeds back on the pathway, promoting β-catenin degradation. We found that Axin2 function was essential for normal kinetics of remyelination. The small molecule inhibitor XAV939, which targets the enzymatic activity of tankyrase, acted to stabilize Axin2 levels in OLPs from brain and spinal cord and accelerated their differentiation and myelination after hypoxic and demyelinating injury. Together, these findings indicate that Axin2 is an essential regulator of remyelination and that it might serve as a pharmacological checkpoint in this process.
Year of Publication2011
JournalNature neuroscience
Volume14
Issue8
Pages1009-16
Date Published (YYYY/MM/DD)2011/06/26
ISSN Number1097-6256
DOI10.1038/nn.2855
PubMedhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21706018?dopt=Abstract