Richard Lu

Q. Richard Lu, PhD

Scientists at Cincinnati Children’s partially repaired damaged nerves and restored limb function using microRNA injected into mice with induced multiple sclerosis (MS).

The work was reported online March 27, 2017, in Developmental Cell.

MicroRNAs regulate gene expression in cells. This microRNA, miR-219, restarted production of myelin, a protective sheath, in nerves of the central nervous system.  

“MiR-219 targets the processes that inhibit myelin formation after nerve injury, and treatment with this microRNA partially re-stores myelination and limb function,” says Q. Richard Lu, PhD, lead investigator and Scientific Director of the Brain Tumor Center. “Augmenting miR-219 treatment with other blockers of myelin regrowth may provide a multi-point treatment strategy for people with diseases like MS.”

Earlier research has pointed to the absence of miR-219 in the damaged nerves and tissues of people with neurodegenerative diseases like MS.