Metallothioneins I+II (MT-I+II) are antioxidant, neuroprotective factors. We previously showed that MT-I+II deficiency during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) leads to increased disease incidence and clinical symptoms. Moreover, the inflammatory response of macrophages and T cells, oxidative stress, and apoptotic cell death during EAE were increased by MT-I+II deficiency. We now show for the first time that demyelination and axonal damage are significantly increased in MT-I+II deficient mice during EAE. Furthermore, oligodendroglial regeneration, growth cone formation, and tissue repair including expression of trophic factors were significantly reduced in MT-I+II-deficient mice during EAE. Accordingly, MT-I+II have protective and regenerative roles in the brain.
- Neurotrophic factor