Steroids Impact on Myelin Repair, Neurogenesis and Visual Pathway in Multiple Sclerosis: Preclinical Perspectives
Even though steroids have drawn significant therapeutic interests for decades, data about their benefits for neural regeneration are missing as current observational studies unfold progressive abnormalities in cerebral gray matter and cerebellum compartments, apart from demyelination lesions in white matter of the central nervous system (CNS) in multiple sclerosis (MS). This medical-scientific appraisal is based on a series of structured questions in part addressed in our investigative clinical review on the benefits and risks of glucocorticosteroids (GC), which highlights that steroids can intensify the disease progression, aside from other global side effects recognized in MS and associated optic neuritis (MS-ON). Corticosteroids treatments, whilst temporally and selectively suppress immune reactions, can interfere with the clearance of myelin debris and inhibit proliferation-migration of the myelinating cells, affecting the axonal repair and CNS functions. This review compiles and summarizes datasets extracted largely from complementary laboratory studies published in Medline, It discusses related pharmacologic and disease mechanisms and relevancies of the distinct MS disease models in rodents, with emphasis on the strengths and weaknesses of the associations of GCs use, glucocorticoid receptors sensitivity, and clinical outcomes. Based on these assessments, we conclude that steroids can suppress inflammation to the determent of neuronal remodeling in a mutually exclusive manner. Excess steroids can contribute to neuronal loss and retinal damage in optic pathology, and thus may expand cerebral atrophy and disease burden in multiple sclerosis.
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