Co-Ultramicronized Palmitoylethanolamide/Luteolin Facilitates the Development of Differentiating and Undifferentiated Rat Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells.
Mol Neurobiol. 2017 Aug 18. Epub 2017 Aug 18. PMID: 28822061
Stephen D Skaper
Oligodendrocytes, the myelin-producing cells of the central nervous system (CNS), have limited capability to bring about repair in chronic CNS neuroinflammatory demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS). MS lesions are characterized by a compromised pool of undifferentiated oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) unable to mature into myelin-producing oligodendrocytes. An attractive strategy may be to replace lost OLs and/or promote their maturation. N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA) is an endogenous fatty acid amide signaling molecule with anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions. Recent studies show a co-ultramicronized composite of PEA and the flavonoid luteolin (co-ultraPEALut) to be more efficacious than PEA in improving outcome in CNS injury models. Here, we examined the effects of co-ultraPEALut on development of OPCs from newborn rat cortex cultured under conditions favoring either differentiation (Sato medium) or proliferation (fibroblast growth factor-2 and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-AA-supplemented serum-free medium ("SFM")). OPCs in SFM displayed high expression of PDGF receptor alpha gene and the proliferation marker Ki-67. In Sato medium, in contrast, OPCs showed rapid decreases in PDGF receptor alpha and Ki-67 expression with a concomitant rise in myelin basic protein (MBP) expression. In these conditions, co-ultraPEALut (10 μM) enhanced OPC morphological complexity and expression of MBP and the transcription factor TCF7l2. Surprisingly, co-ultraPEALut also up-regulated MBP mRNA expression in OPCs in SFM. MBP expression in all cases was sensitive to inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin. Within the context of strategies to promote endogenous remyelination in MS which focus on enhancing long-term survival of OPCs and stimulating their differentiation into remyelinating oligodendrocytes, co-ultraPEALut may represent a novel pharmacological approach.