University of Cambridge > > Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine > Multiple sclerosis: a mitochondrial disease

Multiple sclerosis: a mitochondrial disease

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Multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common non-traumatic neurological disease in young adults, affects approximately 1:1000 individuals. The primary mitochondrial disorders, with approximately 1:10000 of the UK population affected, often involve the central nervous system. Somatic mitochondrial DNA mutations are implicated in Parkinson’s disease and ageing. Mitochondrial dysfunction is increasingly recognised as an important cause of tissue damage in MS. Recent studies from our laboratory identify defects in mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV or cytochrome c oxidase (COX) in a subgroup of acute lesions from patients with fulminant MS and Balo’s type concentric sclerosis. The diffuse COX defects in these lesions involve oligodendrocytes, axons and astrocyte but not microglia. These findings have implications for axonal degeneration in the progressive stage of multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, mitochondrial defects in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells are a potential cause of remyelination failure in MS.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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