An ex-vivo multiple sclerosis model of inflammatory demyelination using hyperbranched polymer
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by the presence of inflammatory demyelinating foci throughout the brain and spinal cord, accompanied by axonal and neuronal damage. Although inflammatory processes are thought to underlie the pathological changes, the individual mediators of this damage are unclear. In order to study the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in demyelination in the central nervous system, we have utilized a hyperbranched poly(2-dimethyl-aminoethylmethacrylate) based non-viral gene transfection system to establish an inflammatory demyelinating model of MS in an ex-vivo environment. The synthesized non-viral gene transfection system was optimized for efficient transfection with minimal cytotoxicity. Organotypic brain slices were then successfully transfected with the TNF or IFN? genes. TNF and IFN? expression and release in cerebellar slices via non-viral gene delivery approach resulted in inflammation mediated myelin loss, thus making it a promising ex-vivo approach for studying the underlying mechanisms of demyelination in myelin-related diseases such as MS.