In multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, neurodegeneration is detected early in the disease course and is associated with the long-term disability of patients. Neurodegeneration is linked to both inflammation and demyelination, but its exact cause remains unknown. This gap in knowledge contributes to the current lack of treatments for the neurodegenerative phase of MS. Here we ask if neurodegeneration in MS affects specific neuronal components and if it is the result of demyelination. Neuropathological examination of secondary progressive MS motor cortices revealed a selective vulnerability of inhibitory interneurons in MS. The generation of a rodent model of focal subpial cortical demyelination proved that this selective neurodegeneration is secondary to demyelination providing the first temporal evidence of demyelination-induced neurodegeneration and a new preclinical model for the study of neuroprotective treatments.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience