Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Original Article(s)


1 Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Pathobiology Department, School of Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran; Shefa Neurosciences Research Center, Tehran, Iran

3 Shefa Neurosciences Research Center, Tehran, Iran


Background: Progesterone as a sex steroid hormone is thought to affect and prevent demyelination, but its role in promoting myelin repair is far less investigated. In this study, remyelinating potential of progesterone in corpus callosum was evaluated on an experimental model of MS.Methods: In this experimental study, adult male C57BL/6 mice were fed with 0.2% (w/w) cuprizone in ground breeder chow ad libitum for 6 weeks. At day zero, after cuprizone removal, mice were divided randomly into two groups: (a) placebo group, which received saline pellet implant, (b) progesterone group, which received progesterone pellet implant. Some mice of the same age were fed with their normal diet to serve as the healthy control group. Two weeks after progesterone administration, Myelin content was assessed by Luxol-fast blue staining. The myelin basic protein (MBP) and proteolipid protein (PLP) expression were assessed using Western blot analysis and the changes in the number of oligodendrocytes and oligodendroglial progenitor cells were assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and flow cytometry.Results: Luxol-fast blue staining revealed enhanced remyelination in the progesterone group when compared with the placebo group. Densitometry measurements of immunoblots demonstrated that MBP and PLP proteins contents were significantly increased in the progesterone group compared with the placebo group. Flow cytometry and IHC analysis showed increases in Olig2 and O4 cells in the progesterone group compared with the placebo group.Conclusion: Overall, our results indicate that progesterone treatment can stimulate myelin production and that it may provide a feasible and practical way for remyelination in diseases such as multiple sclerosis.