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Rat Model of Widespread Cerebral Cortical Demyelination Induced by an Intracerebral Injection of Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines

Muammer Üçal*1, Michaela Tanja Haindl*2, Milena Z. Adzemovic3, Manuel Zeitelhofer4, Ute Schaefer1, Franz Fazekas2, Sonja Hochmeister2
* These authors contributed equally


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system (CNS) and progressively leads to physical disability and death, caused by white matter lesions in the spinal cord and cerebellum, as well as by demyelination in grey matter. Whilst conventional models of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis are suitable for the investigation of the cell-mediated inflammation in the spinal and cerebellar white matter, they fail to address grey matter pathologies. Here, we present the experimental protocol for a novel rat model of cortical demyelination allowing the investigation of the pathological and molecular mechanisms leading to cortical lesions. The demyelination is induced by an immunization with low-dose myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) in an incomplete Freund's adjuvant followed by a catheter-mediated intracerebral delivery of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The catheter, moreover, enables multiple rounds of demyelination without causing injection-induced trauma, as well as the intracerebral delivery of potential therapeutic drugs undergoing a preclinical investigation. The method is also ethically favorable as animal suffering and disability is relatively modest. The expected timeframe for the implementation of the entire protocol is around 8 - 10 weeks.

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