Journal of neuroinflammation

Effects of FTY720 on brain neurogenic niches in vitro and after kainic acid-induced injury.

PMID 28738875


FTY720 (fingolimod, Gilenya™) is an oral, blood-brain barrier (BBB)-passing drug approved as immunomodulatory treatment for relapsing-remitting form of the multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition, FTY720 exerts several effects in the central nervous system (CNS), ranging from neuroprotection to reduction of neuroinflammation. However, the neurogenic and oligodendrogenic potential of FTY720 has been poorly investigated. In this study, we assessed the effect of FTY720 on the production of new neurons and oligodendrocytes from neural stem/precursor cells both in vitro and in vivo. Neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from the young rat subventricular zone (SVZ) were exposed to FTY720 (10, 100 nM), and their differentiation into neurons and oligodendrocytes was measured using immunofluorescence for anti-β-III tubulin or CNPase (2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase) as markers of mature neurons or oligodendrocytes, respectively. In addition, intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of kainic acid (KA; 0.5 μg/2 μl) in Sprague-Dawley rats was used as an in vivo model of neuronal death and inflammation. FTY720 was applied icv (1 μg/2 μl), together with KA, plus intraperitoneally (ip; 1 mg/kg) 24 h before, and daily, until sacrifice 8 days after KA injection. To visualize cell proliferation in the hippocampus and in white matter regions, rats were administered 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) 100 mg/kg, ip injected every 2 days. Immunohistochemical analyses were performed on rat brain slices to measure the production of new neuronal precursors (doublecortin/DCX In this study, we observed that FTY720 increased postnatal NSCs differentiation into both neurons and oligodendrocytes in vitro. In turn, in adult animals, FTY720 enhanced the percentage of BrdU FTY720 promotes neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis in vitro under basal conditions. In addition, it increases the generation of neuroblasts and oligodendrocytes after excitotoxic brain injury. This suggests that FTY720 has the potential to activate the neurogenic niche and thus favour tissue repair after lesion.

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