Inhibiting Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4 Type I Receptor Signaling Promotes Remyelination by Potentiating Oligodendrocyte Differentiation

Alistair E. Govier-Cole, Rhiannon J. Wood, Jessica L. Fletcher, David G. Gonsalvez, Daniel Merlo, Holly S. Cate, Simon S. Murray, Junhua Xiao

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Blocking inhibitory factors within CNS demyelinating lesions is regarded as a promising strategy to promote remyelination. Bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) is an inhibitory factor present in demyelinating lesions. Noggin, an endogenous antagonist to BMP, has previously been shown to increase the number of oligodendrocytes and promote remyelination in vivo. However, it remains unclear how BMP4 signaling inhibits remyelination. Here we investigated the downstream signaling pathway that mediates the inhibitory effect that BMP4 exerts upon remyelination through pharmacological and transgenic approaches. Using the cuprizone mouse model of central demyelination, we demonstrate that selectively blocking BMP4 signaling via the pharmacological inhibitor LDN-193189 significantly promotes oligodendroglial differentiation and the extent of remyelination in vivo This was accompanied by the downregulation of transcriptional targets that suppress oligodendrocyte differentiation. Further, selective deletion of BMP receptor type IA (BMPRIA) within primary mouse oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) significantly enhanced their differentiation and subsequent myelination in vitro Together, the results of this study identify that BMP4 signals via BMPRIA within OPCs to inhibit oligodendroglial differentiation and their capacity to myelinate axons, and suggest that blocking the BMP4/BMPRIA pathway in OPCs is a promising strategy to promote CNS remyelination.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0399-18
Number of pages22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • BMP4
  • demyelination
  • oligodendrocyte

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