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Keywords:

  • mitochondrial sirtuins;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • neurodegeneration;
  • neuroprotection;
  • repair

Abstract

Given the significant socioeconomic impact of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and the paucity of treatment options, there is an urgent need to develop new and effective therapies for this disabling condition. The relatively recent appreciation that progressive disability is largely driven by neuronal loss has focused considerable research attention on neuroprotective strategies. This has coincided with the emergence of oxidative damage as a prominent effector mechanism of axonal damage in studies of MS pathogenesis, which has opened up a new range of putative targets for neuroprotective therapy in MS. Mitochondrial sirtuins are NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases associated with the control of metabolism, aging, and stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Their role in inflammatory demyelinating disease has not been fully characterized, and is the subject of ongoing research. Here, we expound the rationale behind selecting mitochondrial sirtuins as a therapeutic target in demyelinating disease, and report preliminary data that warrant further investigation.