A research team at Inserm made a beautiful discovery and published the results in PNAS. They discovered an unexpected and restorative role of testosterone in mice. This could be a significantly influential factor in the evolution of demyelinating diseases like multiple sclerosis, which may differ between men and women, and bodes well for new therapeutic perspectives.
“Testosterone promotes myelin products by cells that synthesize it in the central nervous system with the goal of repairing the casing that is essential to the transmission of nerve impulses, says Inserm research director Elizabeth Traiffort.
In the absence of testicles and the testosterone hormone that they produce, or in the absence of androgen receptors, the spontaneous repair of myelin is completely disrupted in mice. In fact, the maturation of these specialized cells is defective in the synthesis of myelin.
“It also may be one of the reasons why the evolution of demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis is different in men and women. Our results open the door to new therapeutic perspectives and could also be beneficial to research on psychiatric illnesses or cognitive aging, concludes the director.