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Review

Ion Channels as New Attractive Targets to Improve Re-Myelination Processes in the Brain

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health (NEUROFARBA), Section of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Florence, 50139 Florence, Italy
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Academic Editor: Luca Agnelli
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(14), 7277; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22147277
Received: 7 May 2021 / Revised: 28 June 2021 / Accepted: 1 July 2021 / Published: 6 July 2021
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by neuroinflammation. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) are cycling cells in the developing and adult CNS that, under demyelinating conditions, migrate to the site of lesions and differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes to remyelinate damaged axons. However, this process fails during disease chronicization due to impaired OPC differentiation. Moreover, OPCs are crucial players in neuro-glial communication as they receive synaptic inputs from neurons and express ion channels and neurotransmitter/neuromodulator receptors that control their maturation. Ion channels are recognized as attractive therapeutic targets, and indeed ligand-gated and voltage-gated channels can both be found among the top five pharmaceutical target groups of FDA-approved agents. Their modulation ameliorates some of the symptoms of MS and improves the outcome of related animal models. However, the exact mechanism of action of ion-channel targeting compounds is often still unclear due to the wide expression of these channels on neurons, glia, and infiltrating immune cells. The present review summarizes recent findings in the field to get further insights into physio-pathophysiological processes and possible therapeutic mechanisms of drug actions. View Full-Text
Keywords: oligodendrocyte precursor cells; oligodendrocyte differentiation; voltage-gated ion channels; neurotransmitter receptors; purines; glutamate; GABA; myelination; multiple sclerosis; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis oligodendrocyte precursor cells; oligodendrocyte differentiation; voltage-gated ion channels; neurotransmitter receptors; purines; glutamate; GABA; myelination; multiple sclerosis; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cherchi, F.; Bulli, I.; Venturini, M.; Pugliese, A.M.; Coppi, E. Ion Channels as New Attractive Targets to Improve Re-Myelination Processes in the Brain. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 7277. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22147277

AMA Style

Cherchi F, Bulli I, Venturini M, Pugliese AM, Coppi E. Ion Channels as New Attractive Targets to Improve Re-Myelination Processes in the Brain. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(14):7277. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22147277

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cherchi, Federica, Irene Bulli, Martina Venturini, Anna Maria Pugliese, and Elisabetta Coppi. 2021. "Ion Channels as New Attractive Targets to Improve Re-Myelination Processes in the Brain" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 14: 7277. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22147277

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