DNA Aptamers Promoting Remyelination in Neurodegenerative Disease
Single-stranded DNA aptamers 40 nucleotides in length were selected for binding to mouse myelin and were evaluated for their ability to promote remyelination. This approach was based upon previous reports indicating that IgM antibodies are capable of promoting remyelination in animal models of multiple sclerosis. After extensive selection, aptamers were identified that bind to multiple myelin components in vitro. An aptamer formulation was injected into mice infected with Theiler’s virus, a multiple sclerosis model, where it promoted remyelination of CNS lesions.
Advantages Aptamers are easily manufactured and selected, and are tractable reagents for study and development. They are much smaller in size and less immunogenic in comparison to antibodies, a comparable therapeutic modality. This technology could potentially be applied to demyelinating neurodegenerative diseases in general.
Stage of Development Aptamers have been identified that bind to murine myelin in vitro and promote CNS remyelination in mice infected with Theiler’s virus. Formulations have been developed that increase efficacy, and these formulations would also be expected to increase stability