The proper functioning of the central nervous system (CNS) depends on effective communication between different neurons. A fundamental process ensuring said communication is myelination, which acts to insulate projections of neurons (axons) to ensure efficient transmittance of electrical impulses. Disruption of myelination is connected to numerous serious and debilitating neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and others. Therefore, a strong need exists for treating myelination related conditions.
The group of Prof. Elior Peles, have discovered a novel target that regulates development of myelination in oligodendrocytes, G Protein-Coupled Receptor 37 (GPR37). And that modulating GRP37 during later stages of oligodendrocytes they were able to achieve hypermyelination.
The Peles team have found through extensive in vitro and in vivo work that GRP37 negatively regulates oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination. Consequently, by modulating GRP37 or up regulating a protein transcriptional factor ERKl/2 that is suppressed downstream of GRP37, they could potentially induce or re-establish myelination.