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ECTRIMS 2022 | The importance of cholesterol synthesis in acute demyelination

“Gesine Saher, PhD, Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences, Göttingen, Germany, explains how cholesterol synthesis and lipid recycling is essential for the process of remyelination. In the acute phase of demyelination, the recycling of lipids is necessary for remyelinating axons. Microglia are largely responsible for clearing away lipid and myelin debris that is released from demyelinating lesions and recycling it. Excessive amounts of lipid debris can overwhelm microglia and halt cholesterol synthesis, however, pro-inflammatory signaling promotes the production of cholesterol’s precursor, desmosterol. Desmosterol is an agonist of LXR signaling, which can, in turn, help to relieve microglia of excessive lipids as well as suppress the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators. This, therefore, restarts lipid recycling and cholesterol synthesis, and by extension, remyelination. This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress 2022 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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